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Trevi fountain

February 2008

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Treasures of Italy

History, spirituality and community will come together next January when a group of alumni travel to Italy. The Rev. James Neilson, O.Praem., ’88 (Art) and Jake Czarnik-Neimeyer ’77 (Alumni) will lead the trip “Artistic and Religious Treasures of Rome, Florence and Assisi,” scheduled for Jan. 6-15, 2009.
The itinerary features four-day walking tours of Florence and Rome, as well as a brief visit to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. Destinations include St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican museums, the Pantheon, several art galleries and many churches.

“This is a unique opportunity to provide what alumni are asking for—social and educational experiences after graduation,” said Czarnik-Neimeyer. He added that plans to celebrate Mass at sacred sites, discuss responses to art and architecture, and share fine Italian meals will foster a strong sense of community among those who participate.  

Neilson describes the trip as “an artful blending of the sacred and historical,” and a celebration of aesthetic beauty and spirituality. “We will be inspired by great work in the environment where it was made to be seen,” he said.  

As scholar-on-tour, Neilson will provide insight into the powerful, persuasive and illuminating nature of sacred spaces and artistic masterpieces. He envisions the experience as a “proactive retreat” that will offer many opportunities for meditation and conversation among alumni as they discover their rich spiritual heritage.  

To learn additional details or to register, visit

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