ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven addresses the audience at the Rome Centre Blessing.
ACU’s Rome Centre was formally blessed last month in an important celebration of this exciting initiative and collaboration with the Catholic University of America (CUA).
ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven, Pro-Chancellor Julien O’Connell AM and senior ACU staff gathered in Rome on 25 September to co-host the Blessing of the Rome Centre with CUA.
In addition to senior diplomats and Church dignitaries, ACU had strong representation from senior staff including Professor Nugent, Provost, and Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Professor McKenna and Dr Weller. Senior colleagues from CUA included Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington Mr John Garvey, President, and Dr Andrew Abela, Provost.
His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Prefect, Secretariat for the Economy of the Holy See, presided over the Blessing and Mass.
The centre opened in September 2015 and has provided significant opportunities for research and study over the past year.
“The Rome Centre has already played host to 260 of our students and also a number of international research seminars,” Professor Craven said.
“Not only is it supporting these critical academic activities, it is also supporting the University's engagement with the Catholic church, with international partners and building a significant presence for ACU in Europe and beyond.”
Alongside the Blessing, the University also launched the Francis Xavier Conaci Scholarship, an initiative that will assist ACU indigenous students to study at the Rome Centre.
The scholarship commemorates the life of a young indigenous Benedictine student who passed away in Rome in 1853. The launch was held at a very touching ceremony hosted in the Vatican Museum alongside the Australian Ethnographic collection.
“This wonderful initiative is a collaboration between the Australian Embassy to the Holy See, and the indigenous and Benedictine communities in New Norcia,” Professor Craven said.
While in Europe Professor Craven also visited a number of important University partners and dignitaries including St Mary’s University in Twickenham, the Catholic University of Lyon and the Catholic University of the West in France.
“The Blessing of the Rome Centre and these visits helped to reinforce my view that Internationalisation is central to the University’s future success. They also confirmed the strength and depth of our international partnerships,” Professor Craven said.