For a few years now, we have been collaborating with the intellectual and educational apostolate in some Roman Pontifical Universities. Fr. Marcelo Lattanzio taught a course in Philosophy of Religion at the St. Thomas Pontifical University (Angelicum). Fr. Christian Ferraro has taught Theodicy and is now teaching Metaphysics at the Lateran University. Frs. Arturo Ruiz and Carlos Pereira have been invited to teach biblical courses at the St. Peter Theological Institute which belongs to the St. Anselm Pontifical University.
Since 2009, I have been teaching Licentiate courses at the Angelicum; the first three years were in Italian and the last three in English. The dean requested that the courses be primarily metaphysical and Thomistic, and so I put together the following six-year cycle: (1) The actus essendi in St.Thomas; (2) Participation as hermeneutic of Thomism; (3) “Ens” as “primo fundamento fundante”; (4) Immanence and Transcendence of causality according to Thomas Aquinas; (5) Thomistic answers to the modern problem of freedom; (6) The spiritual determination of human person and the primacy of “act” in Thomas Aquinas.
At the Pontifical Urbanian University, we are able to collaborate even more. In 2011, I was invited to teach as a visiting professor and in September, I was hired as a regular professor and head of the Chair of Anthropology. This year I am teaching courses in rational Anthropology, Anthropology II (a deeper study during the 3rd year of philosophy), guided reading of the Summa Contra Gentiles, Philosophy and Christianity, and “Comparison between Aristotelian metaphysics and Thomistic metaphysics” (for licentiate). Some of our other priests, who are enrolled in the Ph.D. program, are helping as Assistant teachers in a stable manner every week: Fr. Ansaldi as Assistant in Theodicy, Fr. Gianluca Trombini as Assistant in Metaphysics and Fr. Andres Bonello as Assistant in Philosophy of Nature and in a licentiate course on Edith Stein.
Finally, on Tuesday, December 2nd the Pontifical Urbanian University inaugurated a course called “Diploma for Teachers and Mentors in Seminaries” which was planned by our Faculty of Philosophy and whose coordination has been entrusted to me. It is a two-year course (with only one class every week since it is a supplement to the licentiate and doctoral courses which students take in other fields) and we have planned it in the traditional manner aiming to introduce the future Teachers and Mentors to the four areas of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. We have invited professors from all the faculties of the Urbaniana, and we have invited experts and professors from other universities abroad: among them His Excellency Dominique Rey (Bishop of Toulon), Fr. Carmine de Filippis (ex-provincial of the Capuchins of Rome) and Fr. Miguel Angel Fuentes. (see: http://iscrizioni.urbaniana.edu/Urbaniana/ISA/Formatori.aspx)
The initiative was presented by the Rector of the Pontifical Urbanian University and by the archbishops His Excellency Savio Hon Tai-Fai (secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, upon which depend 380 seminaries in their territories, whose mentors normally study at the Urbaniana) and His Excellency Jorge Carlos Patron Wang (Secretary for Seminaries in the Congregation for the Clergy).
We are very grateful to be able to collaborate in the evangelization of culture also in the intellectual and educational field, and we entrust ourselves to the prayers of all the members of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word.
Fr. Elvio Fontana