January 2023
Gregorian University Foundation
Support our Mission • Build the Church

The Wonder of a Child
Michael C. McFarland, SJ

At our annual dinner in New York last month, Fr. Dominic Markl, SJ shared his experience of this mission in his work at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (the Biblicum). He spoke very warmly about their students, “our treasure,” who come from all over the world. At the Biblicum 70 countries are represented among their 360 students. They bring with them their extraordinarily diverse experiences and concerns. For example, one of his doctoral students is from Syria and is writing on the prophet Jeremiah, with a long-term interest in promoting Christian-Muslim relations. Another is from Ukraine, studying the symbolism of the City of Jerusalem in Jeremiah, seeking insight on rebuilding a nation devastated by war. Other students from Nigeria and India are focusing on themes of religious persecution, which they have experienced first-hand in their own Christian communities.

A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
November 4 - 12, 2023

In September 1523, 500 years ago, St Ignatius’ came on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Enamoured with Christ, after his powerful spiritual experience in Manresa, Ignatius  wanted to visit the Holy Land, to get to know the Lord Jesus better, to love him more and  follow him more closely. He strongly desired to stay here, and even years later the vow of  the first companions in Montmartre was to come to Jerusalem. Divine providence had  other ideas, the companions placed themselves at the disposal of the Holy Father, a  mission that the Society of Jesus still lives today, and in a very specific way through the Gregorian University, Biblical Institute, Oriental Institute and other Roman institutions. 

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. 

  • Caesarea Marittima — Stella Maris (Mt. Carmel) — Nazareth — Lake Tiberias
  • Sea of Galilee by boat; Tabgha (Church of the Multiplication), Primacy of Peter,  Capernaum (House of Peter); Banias (Caesarea Philippi) 
  • Magdala — Mount Tabor 
  • Herodion – Shepherds’ Fields – Bethlehem – Philip’s Fountain (En Haniya) – Ein  Karem 
  • Western Wall, Temple Mount, Via Dolorosa (“Holy  Circuit”), Holy Sepulcher; Mount Zion 
  • Dead Sea/Qumran - Jordan River - Jericho - Jerusalem
  • Mount of Olives — Emmaus
If you are interested in learning more about this pilgrimage please click below.
2023 Lenten Retreat
Please plan to join us
The Gregorian University Foundation is pleased to again offer you an opportunity to deepen your Lenten prayer and draw closer to Jesus Christ through an online Lenten retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. Experts in Jesuit spirituality and prayer from the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the Pontifical Oriental Institute will provide participants with a rich and meaningful prayer experience. More details and registration information will be distributed soon.
In the News
EWTN interviews Fr Mark Lewis, SJ
Fr Mark Lewis, SJ, rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University
Bishop Whalen selected as aide for 2023 St Patrick’s Day Parade

Bishop Edmund Whalen, an alumnus of the Pontifical Gregorian University, was selected by the board of directors for the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade to serve as an aide
“Aides to the grand marshal are chosen annually by the parade’s participating organizations in recognition of their outstanding service to the Irish American Community of New York.  The selection of an aide is acknowledgment of years of unselfish, dedicated, and distinguished service to the New York and Irish communities and for their contribution to Irish faith, culture, and heritage. "

For the fourth consecutive session, Jesuit-educated alumni comprise ten percent of Congress. Among the 535 members (and six non-voting delegates) of the 118th United States Congress, 54 graduated from Jesuit colleges and universities.

The Consistent Ethic of Life in 2023:
Solidarity with Those Who are Poor and Vulnerable 
Fr Sam Sawyer, SJ, who is a GUF board member and is the editor-in-chief of America Media, recently participated in an open dialogue sponsored by the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University.
The Pontifical Oriental Institute led a week of prayer for Christian unity

To start the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Pontifical Oriental Institute led a moment of ecumenical prayer at the Church of St. Anthony the Abbot in Rome. Students from different Christian denominations and churches led the prayers.

Jesuit Schools Remember Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Jesuit colleges and universities are among the institutions across the world that have paid tribute to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who passed away last Saturday and was buried yesterday at the Vatican. This week, The University of Scranton honored his memory by lighting the Class of 2020 Gateway sign on campus in white and gold, to symbolize the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ (pictured left).

In addition to Scranton, other schools have offered remembrances: College of the Holy CrossJohn Carroll UniversityLe Moyne CollegeLoyola University MarylandSaint Louis University and Spring Hill College.

In addition, commentary has been provided by faculty at Holy CrossFordham University and Loyola Marymount University. Statements from AJCU and the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States were also issued last week; may he rest in peace.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University for one year

"We share in the sadness of the universal Church at the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI," says Rector Fr. Mark Lewis, SJ, "As a theologian, he left a powerful imprint on post-conciliar theology. As a universal pastor, he showed kindness and was a model of service. Our alumni and professors who worked with him at the Pontifical Gregorian University remember him fondly'.

Joseph Ratzinger was indeed invited to teach at the Pontifical Gregorian University in the 1972-'73 academic year. Following his appointment as Prefect of the then Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he intensified his collaboration with some professors and his participation in academic events at our university. Elected Pontiff, he visited the Pontifical Gregorian and met with his community on 3 November 2006. The Gregoriana has continued to deepen its understanding of the thought of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI in academic courses, doctoral dissertations and with the presentation of his works, such as on 12 March 2022.

Benedict XVI’s Theological Legacy
Dr Jim Corkery SJ, professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, wrote his doctoral thesis on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger, and in this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications he says that the late pontiff’s work will be studied for many years to come.
Alumni Appointments

HE Mons. Giuseppe Laterza,
currently Counselor of the Nunciature,
Apostolic Nuncio in the Central African Republic and in Chad


Rev. Monsignor Daniel Pacho,
currently official of the Section for Relations with States and International Organizations of the Secretariat of State,
Under-Secretary for the Multilateral Sector of the Section for Relations with States and International Organizations of the Secretariat of State


HE Archbishop Baldassare Reina,
Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rome,
Vicegerent with functions of Provost of the Lateran Apostolic Palace of the same Diocese


HE Archbishop Juarez Sousa da Silva,
currently Bishop of the Diocese of Parnaíba (Brazil),
Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Teresine (Brazil)

Mass Cards
available online

The Gregorian University Foundation is pleased to offer Mass cards for the living and for the deceased. 
Please click HERE to select the Gregorian University Foundation as your charity of choice. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases. Thank you!
Praying with the Pope in January 
Pope Francis' Universal prayer intention for January is:

For educators

We pray that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than competition and helping the youngest and most vulnerable above all.

Reflect further on the Prayer Intention for January 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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