April 2020
Gregorian University Foundation
Support our Mission • Build the Church

A Message from Fr Michael C. McFarland, GUF President

During this holy season, we proclaim the joy of Christ’s resurrection, which triumphs over all the dark forces of sin and death that beset our lives. But we are also reminded that this is no cheap victory, but one that comes at a great price.

When the risen Christ came to bring peace and consolation to his disciples, he found them locked away in the upper room, much as we are today, trapped by fear and isolation and unwilling to trust the testimony of Mary Magdalene and others to whom he first revealed his new life. In that encounter in the upper room, the Lord revealed three fundamental truths that the disciples and all of us who would follow them, must embrace if they are to share in the new life he promised. The first is that the resurrection and the cross are inextricably bound, not only in Christ’s life, but for all his followers. The body of the risen Christ still carried the wounds of Calvary; and it was those wounds that made it real for Thomas and the other disciples. In the same way, for us the resurrection is not a promise that we will be insulated from any sacrifice and suffering, but rather that they will not defeat us as long as we face them with generosity, courage and faith. The second is the need for trust. In John’s Gospel the encounter with Thomas is used as a warning that we cannot expect certainty at all times in our following of Jesus. We will suffer our moments of doubt when God feels very distant and indifferent. It is at those times especially when we have to trust the promise we have been given by the Lord, through our prayer, through the testimony of others and through our life in the Church. Finally, to encounter the risen Christ is to be sent out into the world to witness to others the power of that transforming experience. The disciples could not continue to hide away in the safety of their upper room. They needed to go out and face the menace that had driven them there and proclaim fearlessly the death and resurrection of the Christ.

All of this speaks to us in these difficult times. While it would be irresponsible for most of us to break out of our physical isolation right now, we can’t let it silence us or deter us from the mission that has been entrusted to us. As you will read and hear in this newsletter, the faculty and students we support at the Gregorian, Biblicum and Orientale have found creative ways, in the midst of severe restrictions and threats, to continue their vital work of teaching, learning, inquiry and dialogue. They have also used this moment to deepen their spirituality and grow even closer as a community. Here at the Gregorian Foundation we also continue our work in whatever way we can. With travel shut down and personal contact severely restricted, we have had to cancel or postpone many planned meetings and events. Instead we are doing much more virtual outreach, through phone calls, emails, newsletters and mailings. Although we know resources are diminished, the need is still there, greater than ever, especially for so many students in Rome coming from poor countries and churches. We continue to rely on our loyal supporters to help advance this important work of building the future Church.

Michael C. McFarland, SJ

A Message from Fr General Arturo Sosa SJ on COVID-19

16 March 2020
Marco Island, FL
Foundation Gathering

The last spring GUF Mass & reception was held at the home of Paul and Irene Soden.
Coronavirus in Rome isn't stopping the Orientale
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Fr Nazar, SJ, on the students of the Pontifical Oriental Institute

Interview with Fr Pablo Gadenz, on his book, "The Gospel of Luke"
View the interview HERE

Cardinal O'Malley appoints Biblicum alum Rector and Greg alum Vice Rector of St. John's Seminary
Read the article HERE

Pope Francis Appoints Biblicum alum to Diocese of Kinkala, Republic of Congo 
View more HERE

The challenge of online teaching at the Gregorian University

Birmingham, Ala., bishop retires; pope names Michigan bishop as successor
Learn more HERE

Pope appoints new Apostolic Nuncio to Sudan and Eritrea
Read more HERE

Pope appoints Apostolic Prefect in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Read more HERE

During the current pandemic, a group of professors and friends of the "Alberto Hurtado" Faith and Culture Center of the Pontifical Gregorian University have compiled a collection of thoughts. Their contributions have been published in the newly-released ebook Vedo la notte che accende le stelle. Sentieri in tempo di pandemia (EDB).
Read more HERE

Fr Zollner: Protection of minors improving since last year’s summit
Read the article HERE

Student reflection: 

A heart beats in Rome

From the window of my cell, while writing this reflection, I could see different colours and sizes of birds on the roof of the Gesù Church, the mother church of the Society of Jesus. Unexpectedly, Rome, a city that welcomes 25,000 international tourists daily, has no visitors. Continue reading HERE
Check out the series called "With Creativity and Determination" on the Gregorian University's Facebook
Check out the series called "With Creativity and Determination" on the Gregorian University's Facebook

Student Profile
Elisabetta Albanese
Pontifical Gregorian University

Elisabetta was born in Rome on March 29, 1998, making her one of the younger students at the Gregorian University. She is also a lay woman, one of a growing number at the University. After her high school education, Elisabetta came directly to the Greg to begin her baccalaureate degree in 2018. She is now in the second year of a program in philosophy. She hopes to be able to finish the degree in 2020.

Elisabetta says that she finds philosophy fascinating. She is particularly attracted to philosophers of the 18th Century. She realizes that in various ways this is not a practical field of study. However, she likes the way that philosophy leads her to be reflective and to think about broader questions. She says that she has learned how to be critical of the world, to see what is useful and good and to set aside what is not. Philosophy has allowed her to delve deeper into some subjects than other fields of study would permit.
When she was asked about her plans for the future and the way in which she would use the degree from the Greg, Elisabetta responded that she is open to practically anything. She feels drawn into teaching or to doing something in the field of human resources. She is happy that she chose to study at the Greg. She particularly likes the non-competitive environment. No one is trying to outdo everyone else. They are there because they really want to study. Elisabetta also mentioned the importance of the diversity of the student body, including women and men from many countries and backgrounds. Her studies would not be possible without the generosity of donors to the Gregorian University scholarship fund.    Profile by David Books, SJ

Mass Cards
available online

The Gregorian University Foundation is pleased to offer Mass cards for the living and for the deceased. 

When you shop online, did you know that Amazon gives a percentage of your purchases to nonprofit organizations?
Just click HERE to select the Gregorian University Foundation as your charity of choice.
Praying with the Pope in April
Pope Francis' Universal prayer intention for April is: 

Freedom from Addiction
We pray that those suffering from addiction may be helped and accompanied.

Reflect further on the Prayer Intention for April and unite yourself with the Pope's Prayer Network 
Watch the Pope's Video >>

The mission of the Gregorian University Foundation is to raise funds that provide financial assistance for the Education Consortium of the Society of Jesus in Rome, Italy, which includes the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

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