Rome. On June 20, 2020, the 2019/2020 academic year was officially closed at our International College of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi.
The Mass began at 6:30pm, celebrated by the Vicar General of the Order, Br. José Angel Torres Rivera, with others friars concelebrating. He gave a homily that contextualized the past academic year, especially in light of the great challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After Mass, as every year, a joyous celebration was held in the courtyard of the Collegio. Various dishes were featured, courtesy of the Indian, Brazilian, Indonesian and African friars. There were also some typical Italian dishes to choose from.
The celebration was a little different this year. Due to the pandemic and the prevailing uncertainty of health conditions, employees, families and lay friends of our college were not invited to attend. Joining the friars of the Collegio were those of the General Curia, Frascati, Via Cairoli, Consolation and Garbatella friaries. The joy of finally being together after the long period of lockdown due to Covid-19 was palpable.
This academic year, which we have happily concluded, had proved to be a difficult interval. As everywhere, there was great concern at the Collegio about the pandemic, on both the local and global levels, especially in countries from which the friars come. Frequently, they united in prayer with Pope Francis and the worldwide Church for victory over this threat.
During the closing months, the students participated in online classes, and most of the exams were also conducted online. Ultimately, however, everything ended positively and on schedule.
The 2019/2020 academic year began with 78 students and 15 other friars. After this year’s conclusion, 29 friars are scheduled to depart from the Collegio, and another 19 new student friars are expected to arrive. The date of their arrival still remains uncertain due to the complicated situation around the world. But, all remain confident that everything, by the grace of God, will go well in the end.
Photos: Br. Agostinho Augusto OFMCap – https://flic.kr/s/aHsmP1316o
Photos: Br. Paweł Teperski OFMCap - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNZTXye