A conversation with Sr Nicla Spezzati, Director of the new Studium of the Dicastery for Religious
Among the Second Vatican Council's recommendations to religious are a return to the Gospel, a rediscovery of the founding charism and adherence to the magisterium of the Church with the assumption
of one's apostolic and missionary responsibilities. During these days the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life is presenting these instructions in a thoroughly updated and streamlined Studium course. Indeed, fifty years after the beginning of the Council the formation offered has been extended with the introduction of the study course on the ecclesial magisterium, which at the outset was called the “practical course” of the dicastery and today has become the “Studium”. It is an interdisciplinary formation course on the ecclesial magisterium and on the canonical rules governing the consecrated life in the Church, dedicated to Benedict XVI. Sr Nicla Spezzati talks about it in a long interview with our newspaper. It is she who, with the dicastery's other undersecretary, Fr Sebastiano Paciolla, directs the Studium.
To the question about what are the main innovations in the Studium Sr Nicla Spezzati explained that “the actual proposal of the interdisciplinary course is primarily the Dicastery's wish to guide the consecrated life in today's cultures so that they may develop their evangelical and ecclesial contribution to faith, to be able to live their vocation and mission appropriately, convincingly and effectively in our time. The innovations presented by the Studium concern in the first place a more structured reception of the 'history of the effect' of Vatican II on the consecrated life. A special emphasis should be given to the interdisciplinary methodology of the course which seeks to combine research and practice efficiently. It likewise intends to relate the Traditio of the Church, with the immense wealth of all its experience of holiness lived, to the powerful and at times even turbulent flow of contemporary cultural trends, introducing with special curricula, ways to live the ecclesiology of communion. This ecclesiology is in fact the key and the fundamental paradigm for reinterpreting the consecrated life and its mission as a whole. It is not merely one theme among others but, in a certain way, constitutes the horizon that our dicastery intends to propose in practice”.