April 2023
Gregorian University Foundation
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April Reflection
Michael C. McFarland, SJ

Our Lenten retreat this year was based on the Third Week of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, with the theme of “Deepening Our Friendship with Christ.” The Third Week focuses on the passion and death of Christ as an expression of God’s boundless sacrificial love for all of us. As the presenters pointed out, Christ not only suffered for us, he suffered with us. He took on himself our pain, our disappointment, our sense of abandonment, even our failures and infidelities. He did so with the deepest sense of friendship, compassion and intimacy, even toward those who would betray him, including not only Peter, but even Judas. At the worst moment, when Judas turned him over to his executioners, with a kiss no less, Jesus called him “friend” and expressed profound sadness, not for himself, but for the one who had descended into such a miserable state.

2023 Lenten Retreat Recap
Our sincere thanks to all who participated in the Foundation’s annual Lenten Retreat on “Deepening our Friendship with Christ” based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This year, we had 268 people register for the retreat, from 28 countries and 28 states within the US. The retreat reflections truly touched hearts around the world; and so far, we have received enthusiastic superlatives from many quarters.
Not only was this retreat spiritually enriching, but the participants were also able to experience the knowledge, commitment, and holiness of the faculty and others involved at our Jesuit institutions of higher learning in Rome, which is what we had hoped. 
For those still interested in following the retreat, all the reflections can be found here.
We hope you will join us on Wednesday, May 3 and support the Gregorian University Foundation on our annual Day of Giving.  
Once we reach 100 donors on Giving Day, 
a generous sponsor will donate an extra $10,000!

EVERY gift of ANY size counts.
University of San Francisco Dinner 
April 18 in San Francisco, CA
On April 18, Fr Paul Fitzgerald SJ, President of the University of San Francisco, hosted a dinner to introduce the mission of the Gregorian University Foundation to potential supporters. GUF President Fr Michael McFarland SJ gave an overview of the Foundation’s work and alumnus Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, spoke warmly about his time at the Gregorian and what it meant to him. In addition, Biblicum alumnus Fr Marc Valadão SJ, who now teaches at St Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, told the crowd that his time at the Biblicum made him a better preacher as well as a better teacher for the seminarians at St Patrick's, and helped him "to know Christ." 
Fr McFarland, Hal Urban & Lars Lund
USF President Fr Paul Fitzgerald SJ, Greg alum Archbishop Cordileone, Steve and Gabe Lucey 
A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
November 4 - 12, 2023


Walk in the steps of St Ignatius as he came 500 years ago to the Holy Land. This pilgrimage is organized by the Gregorian University Foundation, in close  collaboration with the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem. Fr Josef Mario Briffa, Director of the PBI in Jerusalem, will accompany the group throughout the pilgrimage. Fr  Josef teaches archaeology and geography of the Holy Land at the PBI in Rome and Jerusalem, and is currently writing a guide book on Ignatius pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Learn more and register by clicking below.

In the News

The Pontifical Gregorian University will require Safeguarding course for all degree programs

The Pontifical Gregorian University has decided to enhance the training of its students on the issues of safeguarding and caring for human dignity through the establishment of a course whose attendance will be considered a necessary requirement to finalize the achievement of the academic degrees of Baccalaureate, Licentiate and Doctorate. Read more HERE.

Fr. Philipp Renczes SJ, who is the dean of theology at the Gregorian University, recently presented the newly launched program in "Comparative Theology of Christian Traditions and Ecumenical Studies."

The program is a response to "reading the signs of the times" and to the new "ecumenical spring" that has blossomed under the Francis pontificate.

"We're trying to figure out what the church will look like in 10 or 20 years, and ecumenical relations become more and more relevant to this." 

Read more HERE.

In an interview with Lacivilta Cattolica, Prof. Ambrogio Bongiovanni, director of the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Center for Interreligious Studies, contends that interreligious dialogue needs to understand the cultural interweaving of religions in different contexts. For example, the relationship between Christianity and Islam in Europe is different from the relationship between Christianity and Islam in South Asia, or Iran, says Professor Bongiovanni, who also teaches Missiology at the Gregorian University.
Read the interview HERE.
Fr. Peter Lah SJ, Dean of Social Sciences at the Pontifical Gregorian University, was featured on a recent EWTN broadcast to discuss the University's conference on democracy as a tool for good.

Cardinal Arthur Roche invites Lay Centre residents to contemplation and self-reflection

Cardinal Arthur Roche, prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and an alumnus of the Pontifical Gregorian University, was recently hosted at The Lay Centre for a community evening. 

In an informal conversation after Mass and dinner, Cardinal Roche shared his perspective on a range of topics with Lay Centre residents. He also invited community members to contemplation and self-reflection, urging them to boldly face the questions that arise within them. Read more HERE.

Appointment for Greg Alumnus Msgr. Anthony Onyemuche Ekpo

The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Anthony Onyemuche Ekpo as Under-Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Until now, Msgr. Ekpo has served as an official at the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. Msgr. Ekpo earned a Doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Pontifical Gregorian University alumnus and rector of the Pontifical North American College, Msgr. Tom Powers, was the guest of Joan Lewis in the interview segment of her “Vatican Insider” podcast on EWTN.
Listen to the interview HERE.

The Rev. Dr. Michael Hull has been appointed as the next Principal of the Scottish Episcopal Institute. The SEI Principal is responsible for strategic leadership in the training and formation of candidates for ministry. Dr. Hull earned a doctorate in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Read more HERE.

Interview with Fr. Cyril Pinchak, SJ, a priest in both the Byzantine and Roman Catholic rites. Fr. Pinchak discusses his current studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute.
Alumni Appointments

Rev. András Dobos, former student in the Baccalaureate and Licentiate cycles in the Faculty of Theology from the a.y. 2003/2004 to the academic year 2008/2009,
Consultor of the Special Commission for the Liturgy of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches



Rev. Mgr Anthony Onyemuche Ekpo,
currently Official in the General Affairs Section of the Secretariat of State,
Under-Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development



HE Archbishop Francisco José Prieto Fernández, currently Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela (Spain),
Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)



Rev. Ramón Darío Valdivia Jiménez, currently parish priest and episcopal vicar of the diocese of Sevilla (Spain),
Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Sevilla (Spain)



S.E. Mons. Geovane Luís da Silva, currently Vescovo Ausiliare dell’Arcidiocesi di Belo Horizonte (Brasile),
Vescovo della Diocesi di Divinópolis (Brasile)



 Rev. P. Vusumuzi Francis Mazibuko, OMI,
currently parish priest of St. Mary's in Pietermaritzburg, archdiocese of Durban (South Africa),
Apostolic Vicar of Ingwavuma (South Africa)



Rev. Teodoro León Muñoz,
currently Vicar General of the Diocese of Sevilla (Spain),
Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Sevilla (Spain)



Rev. Padre Francesco Neri, O.F.M. Cap., currently Consigliere Generale dell’Ordine dei Frati Minori Cappuccini,
Arcivescovo della Arcidiocesi di Otranto (Italia)

Mass Cards
available online

The Gregorian University Foundation is pleased to offer Mass cards for the living and for the deceased. 
Praying with the Pope in April
Pope Francis' Universal prayer intention for April is for:

For a culture of peace and non-violence
We pray for the spread of peace and non-violence, by decreasing the use of weapons by States and citizens.

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 institutions 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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