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Twenty Brother David S. Baginski, FSC, Scholars and chaperones spent ten days of their summer researching art and religion in Rome, Italy, as part of a mini-course offered by the Baginski Scholars program entitled Art and Religions of Rome. The course, taught by Baginski Scholars Program Directors Mr. John Allen and Dr. Patrizia Costa-Frezza, offered a series of classes held at Central Catholic before the group embarked on their trip abroad.
“I feel as though the boys’ time at Central prepared them well for this trip abroad, said John Allen, Baginski Scholars Program Director. “Among the many highlights of the journey, seeing Brunelleschi's Duomo in Florence held a special place in the imaginative minds of the students because they had already studied it at great length in their European history classes. It is always such a joy to see young men engaged with history, culture, and the process of discovery.”
From June 18 to 28, students visited iconic landmarks, including the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the statue of David and the Pantheon, among others. The students and chaperones spent an entire day at the Vatican, where they received the Pope’s blessing and listened to his inspiring homily about trusting the community of saints and modeling our everyday lives through their example.
In addition to spending time in Rome, the group ventured to four different regions in Italy, including Florence, Pompeii, Orvieto, Assisi and Ostia Antica, where students were able to take in the sights, sounds and tastes of Italian culture from across the region.
“While in Rome, we went beyond 'doing as the Romans do,’ ” said Anthony DiBello, ’18. “My cousins (who are residents of Rome) were surprised to hear that we had toured Cinecittà, because it was something which they had never done before. Before my freshman year, my father told me that going to Central would offer opportunities which I wouldn't be able to find at other schools. I believe that a study abroad trip to Rome certainly qualifies as one of those opportunities. Grazie mille!”
The experience was completely intertwined with the teachings of John Baptist de La Salle. Students resided at Casa La Salle, belonging to the congregation founded by St. John Baptist de La Salle, which is located a short distance from Vatican City. While at Casa La Salle, Colin Aikins, ’18, and Tyler Zeik, ’18, performed a private concert for former Central Catholic Principal, Br. Bob Schaefer, who now resides at the Brothers’ community in Rome, as well as attendees of the International Brothers Conference, which was happening at the same time as the Baginski Scholars’ trip to Italy.
Check out more photos on Instagram.