Upcoming Events

Union Alumni/ae Gathering in Italy

July 23, 2021 – July 29, 2021 all-day
06081 Assisi
Province of Perugia
Kevin Bentley

This summer, we invite members of our Union community to another alumni/ae gathering of Union alums this summer in Europe. After the success of the May 2019 gathering in Vienna, we are excited about bringing the community back together again after a difficult year. This time we are planning to convene in Assisi, Italy. *

Join us from July 23rd to July 29th, 2021 for some days of enriching exchange, spiritual inspiration, natural beauty, awe-inspiring art and relaxing cappuccinos! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Petra Teissl ’16 at petra.teissl@cnh.at or Kevin Bentley at kbentley@uts.columbia.edu.

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We will visit all sights in connection with the life and impact of St. Francis and St. Clare (San Damiano, San Rufino, Chiesa Nuova, Santa Maria degli Angeli + Porzunicola, Eremo delle Carceri, Basilica Santa Chiara + Cross of San Damiano, Basilica San Francesco, etc.) and also have one or two excursions to places of interest outside Assisi.

As we learn from Franciscan spirituality (St. Francis as “God’s Fool” and “Il Poverello”, who abandoned wealth to live a life of poverty and intimate love of creation; Assisi as a place of inter-religious dialogue) and from each other’s commitment and experience, we seek inspiration for our own lives. There will be time for both sharing and community as well as for individual contemplation and exploration.

Our accommodation in Assisi:

Retreat House Domus Laetitiae, Viale Giovanni XXIII, 2;
Tel +39075812792; https://www.domuslaetitiaeassisi.it/index.php/it/
(breakfast and dinner; newly refurbished en-suite rooms; Wi-Fi; spacious garden; within walking distance of city center, car park)

Sample itinerary (to be adjusted to the situation)

Regular times: Breakfast and dinner at Domus Laetitiae;
exchange, input and reflection – two hours daily (morning/evening)
Arrival at Domus Laetitiae
Late afternoon: – welcome, introduction
Dinner at Domus Laetitiae
Evening stroll to Piazza del Commune Assisi/Forum Romanum

Day 1
Morning: Roman Assisium; St Francis and St Clare – Places of childhood and following the call (San Rufino; Chiesa Nuova; Santa Maria Sopra Minerva; Vescovado – Santa Maria Maggiore)
Afternoon: Santa Maria degli Angeli – Porciuncola (meeting with Franciscan father)
Evening stroll to Rocca Maggiore

Day 2
Morning: Hike (or taxis) to Eremo delle Carceri (forest gorge, Mount Subasio), time for contemplation
Afternoon: Basilica di Santa Chiara, tomb of St. Clare and Cross of San Damiano (Vespers)

Day 3
Morning: San Damiano
Afternoon: excursion to Spoleto

Day 4
Before breakfast Laudes with Fratres at San Damiano;
Morning: Tour of Basilica San Francesco, time for individual prayer (e.g. tomb of San Francesco)
Afternoon – individual free time

Day 5 
According to participants’ wishes (coach fare yet included in price)
– a full (half) day out to nearby Perugia or (and – as a full day excursion) to the hermitage Le Celle (San Francesco came to this place of retreat shortly before his death) close to Cortona (a scenic Etruscan town, still medieval in its character, a great view of the surrounding landscape, a museum with Etruscan, Roman, Egyptian, Medieval and Renaissance items on display and a Diocesan Museum with Fra Angelico’s Annunciation); public transport to Perugia, otherwise coach

    • a full day excursion to Greccio (and its surroundings (first nativity scene in 1223)

Costs for five full days/six nights (accommodation, half board, program without a coach on day 5 – destination yet to be determined) €550 /(double)/€600 (single)
Extra costs: Individual travel to Assisi; gifts and souvenirs, coffees and ice-creams, snacks for lunchtime

Maximum group size: 20 participants

* This event is subjected to be changed or cancelled due to health and safety protocols related to COVID-19. We will keep you informed if anything changes.