Msgr. Pasini will present a public lecture, "Progressing with Freedom Toward Humility: Images and Thoughts of Ambrose of Milan," at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, in the Rogalski Center Ballroom. The lecture is open to students, faculty, staff and the public free of charge. Msgr. Pasini will also concelebrate the Feast of Saint Ambrose Mass, at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, in Christ the King Chapel.
Msgr. Cesare Pasini, Prefect of the Vatican Library and a leading scholar on the subject of Saint Ambrose of Milan, has been curious about the only Catholic university in the world bearing the name of the saint he so admires since he first learned St. Ambrose University existed three years ago.
He will get a firsthand opportunity to satisfy that curiosity next week.
Msgr. Pasini will arrive in the Quad-Cities on Dec. 1. He will deliver a public lecture on lessons to be learned from the life of Saint Ambrose at 5 p.m. Dec. 2 in the Rogalski Center. A question-and-answer session will follow. The monsignor will concelebrate the annual Feast of Saint Ambrose Mass with the Most Rev. Martin Amos, DD, bishop of the Diocese of Davenport, at 6:30 p.m. in Christ the King Chapel.
Prior to those formal events, Msgr. Pasini will meet with Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, university president, as well as selected students and faculty members, said Rev. Robert Grant '80, PhD, the founder of the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose at SAU.
A professor of theology, Fr. Grant first met the monsignor in 2009, while in Italy to explore the value of creating a campus center dedicated to the academic study of the university's namesake.
Fr. Grant said he suspects Msgr. Pasini agreed to meet him at the Vatican only because "he was intrigued by the fact there was a St. Ambrose University somewhere in the world."
The monsignor remains intrigued by the existence of St. Ambrose University, something he referred to by recent email as a "real and good discovery and surprise.
"I imagine it to be a place of research consisting of people, both instructors and young people, who are interested in serious and important training," he said. "I would like to see and meet these people to experience this formative climate. I am also curious to see how Ambrose of Milan is known and regarded in a place so far from the land in which he lived and in which he worked."
A native of Milan, Msgr. Pasini has spent much of his adult life exploring and explaining Saint Ambrose's life and ministry. Part of his mission has been to refute misconceptions concerning Ambrose's role as both a politician and religious leader.
"I admire Ambrose of Milan for his honesty in the service of the whole civil community and for his dedication in pastoral service with which he instructed and caused the community to grow spiritually," the monsignor said. "I sometimes see that Ambrose is presented as a politically astute person and someone looking out for his own image and using any means to advance his own interests.
"I am still shocked that it is possible to flip upside down this model of honest citizenship and of authentic Christianity."
Msgr. Pasini's public lecture, titled "Progressing with Freedom Toward Humility: Images and Thoughts of Ambrose of Milan," will address some of these misconceptions but also will extol Ambrose's example of losing himself in service to others.
"Msgr. Pasini's visit is a significant moment in the university's long history and a testament to the value of the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan," said Sr. Joan. "We are proud and humbled to welcome the monsignor to our campus, particularly as we celebrate the Feast of Saint Ambrose. His visit is testament to the hard work Fr. Grant, Academy Executive Coordinator Ethan Gannaway and so many others have invested to make the academy a reality."