The Rome students went on their first trip of the semester to visit the nearby town of Subiaco, as well as the Umbrian towns of Assisi and Orvieto. The group made its first stop at the Monastery of Sacro Speco, which enshrines the cave in which St. Benedict lived as a hermit before he organized his first monastic community. That afternoon, the group took a bus to Assisi and settled into the peaceful medieval town.
The following morning the students attended a guest lecture by Dr. Lori King, in which she spoke about the importance of Assisi for the Catholic Church, the life of St. Francis, and the traditions and contributions of the Franciscan Order. Afterwards, tours were given by Dr. King, Dr. Hatlie and Sr. Catherine (our wonderful Western Theological Traditions professor). That afternoon the students explored the many beautiful churches of the town or climbed the nearby mountain to reach the hermitage of St. Francis.
On Sunday morning, as the winter weather closed in and a few flurries of snowflakes fell, the class packed up and headed to Orvieto where the students toured the medieval cathedral and listened to lectures on the Chapel of San Brizio, whose walls display Luca Signorelli's famous frescoes on the Last Judgement from the early 1500's.
Upon returning to campus the students celebrated their own 50th Anniversary Groundhog Day with hamburgers, hotdogs and a bonfire, followed by a late night Superbowl-watching party.