This is a big weekend for three of us who have been working now for several years to establish an international institute for the advanced study of the diaconate. Along with Deacon Dr. Enzo Petrolino of Italy and Deacon Rob Mascini of the Netherlands, we three have worked out the details with the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education and with the major Roman pontifical universities to begin the institute in the summer of 2012. The Institute has received enthusiastic support from the Vatican and from the universities, and this weekend's meetings will finalize many of the administrative details. These are being handled by the Gregorian University, and we will be establishing fees, procedures and even some of the housing details. So, we will soon be able to announce and advertise the specifics.
At this point we're considering a three-week block of time in the early summer. Each course would be one week in length, with intensive sessions in the morning hours followed by research/tours and other activities in the afternoons. In this way, students might opt to take ONE course (one week), or THREE courses (if they stay the whole three-week period). These will be designed for graduate or post-graduate students who will be expected to have read extensively before coming to Rome for the course, and to pursue a serious research project following the course. Courses would be open to any and all qualified and interested students.
I'll keep you posted!