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2014-03-25

VATICAN - Urbaniana University, a laboratory of interculturalism at the service of the Gospel

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "Urbaniana University is a laboratory where cultures are known and valued in the gifts each of whom is a carrier. During the lectures and personal exchange among students and professors, one has the opportunity to experience the continuous effort that characterizes the Christian communities in the world to put in dialogue their cultural and traditional elements with the gospel and take advantage of the fruits obtained for the proposal of an authentic Christian experience". Thus Fr. Alberto Trevisiol, Consolata Missionary (IMC), Rector of the Pontifical Urbaniana University, describes to Fides Agency the activities of the University.
Urbaniana university which today, March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, celebrates its patron, established in 1627 within the Congregation "De Propaganda Fide", as a formation center for priests who were preparing to leave as missionaries to bring the Gospel in areas where it had never arrived. "Here many of those who participated in the great effort that the Church lived in the sixteenth century prepared themselves, and met for the first time worlds hitherto unknown" recalls the Rector, and "today Urbaniana continues to respond to its ancient and ever valid vocation to accompany and promote with reflection and study the missionary task of the Church in the world".
The academic structure comprises four faculties (Philosophy , Theology, Missiology, Canon Law), two higher education Institutes (Superior Institute of Catechesis and Missionary Spirituality and Superior Institute of the study of non-belief, of religion and cultures), the Chinese Study Center, the Social Communications Centre, the Department of Languages, in addition to the Library, which houses a valuable collection of books and documentary which since the fifteenth century has accompanied the study and research concerning the missionary world.
In this international study center and research, there are people who work and come from over 120 Countries, representatives of very different cultural, social and religious contexts. "This reality, a reflection of the processes of globalization in which the modern world is exposed - continues Fr. Trevisol - ensures that over 1500 Urbaniana University students have the opportunity to live an experience of multiculturalism with people from different backgrounds, which facilitates 'openness to meetings and exchange".
A characteristic feature of the "missionary University" is then formed by the affiliated institutes: a network of nearly 100 cultural and formation institutions (Seminars, Faculties, Institutes of Higher Education, etc ...) in Africa, Asia, America, Europe and Oceania depend on Urbaniana University, attended by a total of over 10,000 students.
The University assists Institutes in the implementation of study programs, provides educational materials and promotes regular refresher courses for professors.
"In our time - said the Magnificent Rector - the needs of the contemporary world, with its rapid and radical changes taking place, require a missionary commitment which is characterized not only by the generous gift of oneself, of ones energies and human resources, and often even ones own life, but also the knowledge and understanding of religious, cultural and social contexts. Urbaniana strives to respond to these needs and is committed to providing students with the cultural and human formation that promotes this essential commitment of the universal Church". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 25/03/2014)

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