Welcome Home R.E. Class of 2012!

July 20, 2012

Our eighteen seminarians returned home on July 2, 2012!

A selection of their journal entries and photos will be shared on the blog over the coming weeks so please stay tuned.

In the meantime, we pray that the Rome Experience will remain a wonderful memory for each of them and that it will contribute to deepening their love for the Church, the Pope, and the saints throughout their journey towards the priesthood.

Thank you, Class of 2012!


June 15th: Feast of the Sacred Heart

June 15, 2012

Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

Praying today especially for our class of 2012 and the priests of the Rome Experience as they continue their journey in Europe!

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Mt 6:21)

Buon viaggio!

May 21, 2012

The Rome Experience 2012 is officially underway! 

After gathering for a brief orientation in Chicago, the Rome Experience Class of 2012 is departing today for France where they will begin the program with a week-long silent retreat in Ars near the Shrine of St. John Vianney, Patron Saint of Priests.

After the retreat, the class will depart to Rome where they will spend the following five weeks– praying, studying, and immersing themselves in the history, culture, and beauty of the heart of the Church.

Class of 2012- you are in our prayers and we wish you a safe and unforgettable experience!

Faculty 2012: Dony Mac Manus

May 17, 2012

Dony Mac Manus
Founder of the Sacred Art School, Florence, Italy

Dony Mac Manus has been a part of the Rome Experience since 2009.  He is an accomplished international artist with more than twenty years of experience producing and teaching visual arts.  And, he is the guide and instructor of the Rome Experience’s course, “Pilgrimages and Tours of the Churches, Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome”.

Born in Dublin in 1971, Dony Mac Manus graduated with a Bachelor of Design (1995) and Higher Diploma in Art and Design Teaching (1998) from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland. In 2001, he received a Masters in Fine Art from the New York Academy of Art.

Upon completing his Masters in New York, Dony moved to Italy where he set up his studio first in Rome for a year and a half and then Florence for the next year and a half.  He returned to Dublin in 2004 to establish the Irish Academy of Figurative Art.

In 2007 Dony entrusted the Academy to his faculty and students in Dublin and he returned to Florence to establish the Dony Mac Manus Studios-Sacred Art School where he continues working on large international commissions while training his apprentices and students from around the world.

Faculty 2012: Fr. Pablo T. Gadenz

May 16, 2012

Rev. Pablo T. Gadenz
Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies
Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology

Father Pablo Gadenz will be returning to the Rome Experience in 2012 as instructor of the course “The Word of God and the New Evangelization” which is designed to give the seminarians an understanding of theology through the Bible focusing on the theme of the 2012 Rome Experience program, “The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy”.

Father Pablo Gadenz is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology in South Orange, New Jersey. In addition, he serves as a mentor on the Seminary’s Formation Faculty. His research focuses on rhetorical analysis of Paul’s Letters and the study of Paul’s use of Scripture. He is also interested in the theological interpretation of Scripture, building bridges between exegetical study and the Church’s theology and liturgy. His published doctoral dissertation examines Paul’s ecclesiology in Romans 9-11, taking into account the Old Testament background of these chapters.

Father Gadenz holds an S.T.D., Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; S.S.L., Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome; M.Div., M.A., St. Charles Borromeo Seminary; and, an M.S., Columbia University, B.S.E., Princeton University.

Ordained in 1996, Father Gadenz is a priest of the Diocese of Trenton, and assists on weekends at Christ the King Parish in Long Branch, New Jersey.

Faculty 2012: Dr. Elizabeth Lev

May 15, 2012

Dr. Elizabeth Lev
Art Historian and Author
Faculty of the University of St. Thomas Catholic Studies Rome Program, Italy

This year, the Rome Experience will be adding a new course to the core program titled the “Historical and Cultural Roots of the Roman Catholic Church”.  And, we are very pleased and privileged to welcome Dr. Elizabeth Lev as the instructor for this exciting new course.

Elizabeth Lev is an American-born art historian who, while doing graduate work at the University of Bologna, first traveled to Rome to research her thesis on the Church of San Giovanni and Petronio.  She soon realized that, like Queen Christina of Sweden before her, she couldn’t live another day if she didn’t live it in Rome!  The Eternal City has been her home ever since.

Among a small number of Americans who has passed the stringent licensing exam for guides in Italy, Elizabeth’s services as a guide are in high demand and she has been privileged to accompany many distinguished visitors, including former First Lady Laura Bush, through the Vatican Museums and to other sites of interest in Rome and beyond.

Elizabeth served as art history advisor on the films “The DaVinci Code” and “Angels and Demons” based on Dan Brown’s novels of the same names.  She appeared in the History Channel’s program “Angels and Demons Decoded” and served as the host of “Catholic Canvas,” a 10-part television series on the art of the Vatican Museums that aired on EWTN.  She has written numerous articles for Inside the Vatican, Sacerdos and First Things magazine, and also writes a regular column with Zenit News Agency. In addition to all this, Elizabeth has found time to recently complete her first biography, The Tigress of Forli: The Remarkable Story of Caterina Riario Sforza, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Press.

Faculty 2012: Fr. John Heisler

May 14, 2012

Rev. John Heisler
Associate Director of the Rome Experience

Father John Heisler is the Associate Director of the Rome Experience and instructor of the course “Vatican II: Historical Context and the Hermeneutic of Reform”, which is designed to help the seminarians develop an understanding of the Second Vatican Council from a historical perspective.

Father John Heisler, a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, joined the formation faculty of the College of Liberal Arts of the Pontifical College Josephinum in fall 2008 and is at present the Dean of Men of the College of Liberal Arts.

Father Heisler studied philosophy and theology at Christendom College in Front Royal, VA. He completed studies for the priesthood at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD, and was ordained in 1999. He began studies in Canon Law at The Catholic University of America in 2004. From 2005-2008, Father Heisler was Chaplain at Christendom College.

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