norcia_2192900b

 

There has been a lot of buzz recently around the June 16-29th St Albert the Great Summer School in Norcia. Norcia is a sort of Catholic paradise. The town itself is beautiful, situated next to the Sibylline Mountains it looks like a scale model of Western Civilization. In the centre of the town square is a statue of St Benedict who (with his twin sister St Scholastica) was born there in 480. Around the square there is an imposing sixteenth century fortress, a renaissance cathedral, a fourteenth century town hall and the Basilica of St Benedict. The Basilica is built over the fortified former Roman secular basilica where the holy twins were born. Behind the Basilica is the wonderful observant monastic community of English speaking Benedictines who sing the full office and the Mass in Latin according to the pre-1962 books. The crypt of the Basilica where the monks sing most of their offices is constructed out of the very room where Ss Benedict and Scholastica were born. The Monks also brew the most wonderful beer. The gastronomic delights do not end there either because Norcia is the centre of Wild Boar and Pork butchery (and truffles) in Italy and is full of splendid restaurants and pizzerias. The previous Albert the Great summer schools involved the close study of the text of St Thomas in seminars, spiritual conferences by the superior of the Monastery Fr. Cassian Folsom, ending with a scholastic disputation presided over by another of the monks. It seems the same format is planned for this year when they will be studying the Letter of St Paul to the Romans with the commentary of St Thomas. I know at least one Laodicean is going. It all sounds rather splendid.

Advertisements