Studying abroad unfolds a world of possibilities that challenge your perspective as you discover another culture and yourself as a global citizen. For centuries, Rome has been a destination for pilgrims and those seeking spiritual renewal. Today, students of Loyola University of Chicago (LUC) and partnering university students at the LUC John Felice Rome Center are immersed in a spiritual context that includes long-standing traditions of the city, and important religious celebrations throughout the year in hundreds of churches throughout Roma.
As Jesuit schools and universities have since 1548, the John Felice Rome Center begins each academic term to ask God's assistance in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, in the celebration of the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Also early each academic term, students are offered afforded the opportunity to participate in a Wednesday papal audience or to also attend the Sunday Angelus in Piazza San Pietro. So for many students, being in Rome is an opportunity to connect with their faith and learn more about the deep roots of Christianity and their faith tradition.
For those not Roman Catholic, Roma offers opportunities to not only learn about Roman Catholicism but also about the common Christian traditions. Roma welcomes non-Catholic Christians, with active English-speaking communities of Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists. Roma is also an important city for the history of Judaism, both ancient and modern, and has a vibrant Jewish community. Roma also serves a growing Muslim community centered around the Great Mosque of Roma.
Guided by Loyola’s Catholic and Jesuit tradition, the John Felice Rome Center seeks to foster lives of faith and justice among the students, faculty, and staff. So all students are invited to participate, to recognize the call of God in your life, to commit to ongoing faith formation, and model your lives of prayer, reflection, and service. As a result, to participate in the life of the John Felice Rome Center Community is to accept an invitation to join in dialogue about basic human questions — in the classroom, the chapel and through service and solidarity programs in and around Roma.
As part of its mission, the John Felice Rome Center seeks to form and foster an active worshiping community on campus. Weekly liturgies, special liturgical celebrations and ongoing opportunities for Ignatian prayer invite students to join together in prayer and worship, and become part of a vibrant worshiping community.
Share your talents by serving as a music minister or lector with the John Felice Rome Center community.
Music is an integral part of the John Felice Rome Center Mass of the Holy Spirit as well as all special liturgical celebrations at the John Felice Rome Center. The role of music ministers is primarily to lead and foster the sung prayer of the entire assembly of worshipers at liturgies.
Worship in the Local Community
Roma is blessed with worshiping communities representing almost every religious tradition, including Protestant, Orthodox, Easter Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu.
For further information on these opportunities as well as Roman Catholic liturgies in English, papal audiences, visiting the Vatican, how to obtain papal audience tickets, and several other helpful resources, please go to:
The John Felice Rome Center Jesuit chaplain, Fr. Dennis McNeilly S.J., is available to meet one-on-one with individual students to discuss any concerns or questions they may have. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also available upon request.
From service opportunities in the local Balduina neighborhood, to visiting the Rooms of Saint Ignatius of Loyola in Roma, to contemplating their place in the world during a Pilgrimage to Assisi each academic term, members of the John Felice Rome Center Community are provided several opportunities to reflect and act on their beliefs in myriad ways.
The Rooms of St Ignatius of Loyola
Each academic term students are offered opportunities to tour of the rooms of the founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) where he lived and worked for almost 20 years as the first Superior General of the Jesuits. Students tour the rooms that survived a devastating flood and view artifacts from the years St. Ignatius lived including the desk and chair where he wrote the Constitution of the Jesuits, and see the place in the chapel where he died. Students also tour the high Baroque style hallway outside the rooms decorated about 25 years after Ignatius's death by Andrea Pozzo - a Jesuit brother and accomplished painter - who also had a hand in the designs of the Church of the Gesu next door and where students may also experience the ‘Barocca Macchina” at the Chapel of St. Ignatius.
Pilgrimage to Assisi
Each academic term, students are invited to follow in the footsteps of both St Francis and St. Clare in Assisi as they pause in the Basilica of San Franceso to pray at Francis’ grave and the grave of Santa Chiara in the Basilica of Santa Chiara. Students visit Cathedral San Rufino where Clare certainly and Francis probably were baptized, as well as two buildings associated with Francis' family, the Chiesa Nuova, and San Francesco Piccolo. Students visit, reflect and pray before the San Damiano Cross and St. Clare’s childhood home, and may also join the friars in the evening Vespers prayer service, which takes place in the original church which Francis restored. Students also journey below Assisi to Santa Maria Degli Angeli and its Porziuncola, the humble chapel which Francis repaired, and where he and his brothers lived in the early days of his Franciscan order.
Loyola 360 Retreat – For first-year Rome Start students, the 360 Retreat provides opportunities for students to build community, reflect on their personal journey and transition to college, and gain a deeper understanding of Loyola’s Jesuit mission and identity.
Opportunities to explore and deepen your faith at the John Felice Rome Center may include Christian Life Communities, Agape Latte and others according to student interests each academic term.
Christian Life Communities (CLC’s), are a network of small faith-sharing groups and active at the John Felice Rome Center. Each group is made up of 6-10 members who are led by seasoned group leaders. Groups meet every week for connection, reflection, and putting love in action. Students of all traditions and beliefs are welcome and according to student interests each academic term.
Agape Latte engages students in caffeinated conversation on the intersection of life, love and faith by listening to a story from a notable person. All students are welcome for coffee and community and according to student interests each academic term.