JULY 28, 2017
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Friary of St. Anthony at the Baths of Caracalla [“Vigna”]

Convento Sant'Antonio alle Terrme ("Vigna"); Via Guido Baccelli, 56; 00153 Roma (Italia); tel. centr.: [+39] 06.69895411

 

The Friary of St. Anthony at the Baths, known as La Vigna, is a 16th century Roman villa and estate located between the 3rd century remains of the Baths of Caracalla and the Aurelian wall. It was acquired for ecclesiastical use by St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1555 and served as the summer residence of the Roman College until 1773. The current Eucharistic chapel of the friary was a room belonging to St. Ignatius of Loyola for some time between 1554-56, as the 17th century inscription above the doorway attests: Beati Patris Nostri Ignatii cubiculum. It is frescoed by the Jesuit Andrea del Pozzo (1642-1709), who executed the scenes after 1681, with subjects similar to those that can be found at the Church of the Gesù and its adjoining residence.

In 1822 it was acquired by the Conventual Franciscan Friars as the summer residence of the College of St. Bonaventure, the Theological Institute of the Order. Many friars of the Order have lived and spent time here since then, enjoying the beautiful fields, vineyard, garden, and fruit trees that have given the friary its nickname. Since 2009 it has been an international continuing formation fraternity for friars pursuing advanced studies in the ecclesiastical sciences.

In the 2015-2016 academic year there are nineteen in the local fraternity. Four friars are under the obedience of the Minister General and serve in various capacities: Executive Secretary of the Commission for the Revision of the Constitutions; editor of the Hierarchia Catholica; Secretary for Formation; and one who provides internal service to the local fraternity. The other friars became part of the local fraternity after agreements were made between the Minister General and their respective major superiors under the guidance of the Minister General’s Delegate for the General Houses. Three Polish Sisters from the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Charity provide domestic service to the local fraternity.

The local fraternity mirrors the great diversity of the Order today, representing six of the seven Conferences or Federations of the worldwide Order. Eleven different nationalities form this diverse local fraternity, which this year represents nine religious Provinces, three Provincial Custodies, and a Provincial Delegation. Six student friars are engaged in doctoral studies while ten are pursuing licentiates. They are enrolled in programs at the Pontifical Gregorian University; the Pontifical Salesian University; the Pope John Paul II Institute for the Family; the Pontifical Lateran University; the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure; the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum; the Pontifical University Antonianum; and the Pontifical University Urbanianum. Their fields of study include biblical theology; religious formation; spirituality; moral theology; philosophy; canon law; Franciscan studies; and systematic theology.

In addition to serving as chaplains for the local community of the Daughters of Divine Charity, friars of the La Vigna community render service to the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles; the Friaries of Saints Peter and Paul and the Immaculate Conception; the Regina Caeli Prison; and the Parishes of St. Marcella, St. Saba, Our Lady of Loreto, and St. Jane Antida.

Our local mission is: “We are a fraternity of diverse friars committed to continuing and integral formation leading to deeper conformity to Christ in the footsteps of St. Francis. In addition to our living out the Conventual Franciscan charism, our particular means include study; the cultural diversity of our daily lives; and the experience of Rome and the General Houses of the Order.”

Friar Timothy Kulbicki, OFM Conv., Guardian
October 2016

 
s. Antonio

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