Meet our Christian Thinkers Professor, Professor Ardian Ndreca!

  • IMG_9094Professor Ardian Ndreca

Professor of Christian Thinkers (PL 230)

Professor Ardian Ndreca was born in Scutari, Albania.  He received his doctorate in Letters and Philosophy from the LUMSA in Rome, and his Ph.D. from the Urbaniana University in Vatican City where he is now Professor of History of Modern Philosophy.  He is also the Chair of the Institute for Studies of Atheism and Cultures.

He teaches courses on philosopher such as Pascal, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Schelling, and Kierkegaard.  His areas of interest and research are the relationship between Faith and Reason, Atheism in present society, and the search for God.

His monographs include Mediazione or paradosso?: Kierkegaard contra Hegel, (2000), Soggettività nella filosofia di S. Kierkegaard (2005), Lessico di filosofia della storia (2012).  He has also published numerous articles and book reviews.  Among his many articles, we find “L’ideale dell’anima bella in Schiller”, “Il Concetto dell’amore nel Rinascimento”, “Nichilismo e domanda di senso”, “L’istante e l’eternità in Kierkegaard”, and “Die Isonomie im Albanischen Gewohnheitsrecht”.

He has been teaching for the John Carroll University at Vatican City Study Abroad Program since 2007.


Meet our History of the Papacy Professor, Professor Paolo Mancinelli!


  • Professor Paolo Mancinelli

Professor of History of the Papacy (RL326)

Paolo Mancinelli was born in Rome, where he lives with his wife Monica Nini.

He received his doctoral degree in Modern History from the II University of Rome Tor Vergata; a degree in Archival and Palaeographic studies from the Scuola di Paleografia e Diplomatica of the Archivio di Stato of Roma; and a Ph.D in Contemporary History from the University of Rome La Sapienza.

As an historian, he has been part of the Historical Committee for the process of canonization of the former Italian Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi.  His areas of academic interest is the relationship between State and Church in Italy and France from the nineteenth to the twentieth century.

As a member of the Sant’Egidio’s Community in Rome, he directs their house-family for the elderly and he is also a representative of their community in the USA.  He travels frequently to the United States where he gives conferences in universities on the issues of social justice and the poor; on the ecumenical and interreligious dialogue; and on the death penalty.

He works for the Generalate of the Catholic Congregation of the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers) in Rome, where is responsible for their international administration.


Student Breanna talks about her last weekend in Italy spent in the mountains of Abruzzo while studying abroad with the JCU at Vatican City Program!

2012-12-16 14.37.56

Today is December 17th and I have been in Europe for almost four months to the day. Thinking back to August 23rd when we first arrived at Fiumicino Airport in Rome, I can’t help but notice how much I have learned and grown from this amazing experience. I had the opportunity to see many different regions of Italy: from Rome to Abruzzo to Tuscany to the Amalfi Coast to Milan. I truly feel that we have gained a diverse understanding of the Italian culture through all of the places we have gone and the many people we have encountered along our journey. It is funny that in one aspect, it seems like our arrival in Rome four months ago actually seems like years ago because of all of our experiences. Yet at the same time, this semester has just flown right by. It seems like just yesterday that we were halfway through the semester and now there are only a few short days left.

One of my most favorite places that we had the chance to visit during our semester abroad was the small town of Castelnuovo in L’Aquila which is in the Abruzzo region of Italy. I consider myself to be an outdoorsy person and the mountain hikes in the fresh air were just beautiful. While Rome is a wonderful city full of history, it was nice to get away from the busy, crowded streets and enjoy a few peaceful weekends in nature.

Blog Picture

A few years ago, L’Aquila suffered an extremely destructive earthquake which forced many people out of their homes and businesses. The restoration process has been moving along rather slowly, but the people of L’Aquila have not given up hope. It has been amazing to see that even after such a destructive natural disaster that people work together to keep their community alive and their spirits up. Each time that we have visited Castelnuovo, we have had the opportunity to converse with many friendly native Italians. There is a strong sense of family among the people from Castelnuovo and they are all extremely welcoming and kind.

2012-12-16 15.28.15The last weekend in Italy I had the opportunity to make one last visit to Castelnuovo. Between the beautiful, refreshing mountains, the peaceful town, and the magnificent food that we always eat there, I could not turn it down. I was able to spend the weekend reflecting on my semester in Europe and winding down as I prepared to head home to the States. Dr. Casciani, Tara and I went on a nice walk through the town of Santo Stefano di Sassanio and stopped in an adorable bar for some hot chocolate (cioccolato caldo) and cake (torta) which were delicious! From this town, we got to see a beautiful view of the mountains which were covered in snow this time around.  I remember thinking “you could never get used to that beautiful sight,” while breathing in some fresh mountain air and beholding nature’s beauty.

After seeing the destruction from the earthquake and meeting many people from Castelnuovo, I was exposed to a whole new meaning of the words community and generosity. Despite having lost so much of their personal belongings and even their homes, the people from Castelnuovo are always helping one another and making visitors like me feel so welcome. I truly could not have asked for a better way to spend my last weekend in Italy than with the friendly people from Castelnuovo in the beautiful mountains.

Student Katie talks about her overall experience in Rome while studying abroad with the JCU at Vatican City Program this fall.


When I think about my experience abroad in Rome and I go back to two years ago, I smile and I remember how afraid I was of going away without my family. I had to gain the courage to step outside my comfort zone and decide to study in Rome. I can honestly say that it was one of the best choices I have ever made for myself. While studying in Rome, I experienced not only amazing history about this ancient city, but I had the opportunity to sit back and reflect on myself.  I feel that in the past four months, I have learned more about who I truly am. Continue reading

Student Serena talks about what it was like to get to know her relatives in Italy while studying abroad in Rome with the JCU at Vatican City Program in 2012

IMG_2308My name is Serena DiGeronimo and I am a junior at John Carroll University.  Studying abroad in Italy has truly enriched my life in many different ways. One of the most enriching experiences I’ve had during this semester abroad was meeting my Italian family. In case you couldn’t tell from my name, I am Italian.  My father’s parents both immigrated to the United States, leaving their families behind in Italy. Growing up, I was aware of my heritage and I knew that I had relatives in Italy. A few of my dad’s cousins had even visited us in the United States. I knew things about my family in Italy and vice versa, but I had never had the opportunity to meet all of them until I came to Italy.

Continue reading

Meet our History Professor, Father Angelo Romano!

  • 2012-11-19 13.37.09Father Angelo Romano

Professor of A Century of Italian History (HS296)

Father Angelo Romano was born in Rome where he lives.

He received a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” his license in Theology from The Gregorian University of Rome, and his PhD in the History of the Church from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan. He teaches Contemporary History at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Vatican City.

A Catholic priest since 1994, Father Romano is now Rector of the Basilica of Saint Bartholomew in Rome, the Memorial Church for the New Christian Martyrs. He is also a member of the Saint Egidio Community in Rome, and he is in charge of its peace-building initiatives, especially in Western Africa and in the African Great Lakes area. Just recently he took part in the release of eight soldiers in Senegal who were taken hostage from Separatist rebels in Senegal. Click here to read about it!

His academic interests are in the history of the contemporary Church. His monographs include: Ernesto Ruffini, Cardinale arcivescovo di Palermo ([1946-1967] 2002); Mirare tutta la vastità del mondo. Maria Luisa Prosperi, monaca benedettina ([1799-1847] 2012), as well as chapters in books and articles in scientific journals including, “Il caso del Mozambico e del Burundi”. In Senza armi per la pace. Ed. Pierluigi Consorti (Pisa, 2003).

Father Romano has taught with the John Carroll University at Vatican City Program since 2006 and the JCU students remark on his vast knowledge of Italian history, his witty sense of humor and his kindness.