This weekend the Rome students went on their first trip as a class. The first stop was in Subiaco at the Monastery of Sacro Speco, where St. Benedict spent three years living as a hermit before organizing his first monastic community. After touring the monastery and learning about the art and history of the site, the buses departed for the medieval town of Assisi.
Saturday morning began at the Basilica of St. Francis, where each of the professors spoke about St. Francis within the context of their discipline. After learning about the significance and influence of St. Francis in history, literature, philosophy, and, of course, theology, students were led through the basilica by Dr. Hatlie, Dr. Freni, and Dr. Siegmund. Following lunch, the students had free time to explore the town or rest and catch up on school work. Many of the students went with Dr. Osborn and Dr. Freni on an optional hike to the hermitage of St. Francis (some of the students even did the hike without shoes!). Dr. Tullius led another group of students on a tour of Assisi's famous churches. The evening ended with mass at the tiny church of Santo Stefano. According to Fransiscan tradition, the bells of the church began to ring spontaneously at the time of St. Francis' death in 1226.
After leaving Assisi on Sunday morning, the group headed to Orvieto. Students explored the town and attended mass in the crypt of Orvieto's famous cathedral before being treated to a delicious Umbrian lunch. The last event of the weekend was a tour of the cathedral. Students visited the Chapel of San Brizio, which features Luca Signorelli's famous frescoes on the Last Judgement, as well as the Chapel of the Corporal, which holds the corporal cloth from the miracle of Bolsena.
Upon returning to campus, students had a special dinner and bonfire to celebrate UD's favorite tradition: Groundhog! The busy weekend concluded with a late-night Superbowl party, and many students stayed up into the early hours of the morning watching the game.