13 Niagara University Students Acknowledged by Pope Francis as Part of 10-Day Trip to Rome
Thirteen Niagara University students spent the last 10 days of May on a pilgrimage through Rome, viewing Roman Catholic art in several prominent locations, including the Vatican.
Another major highlight of the program, as expressed by the students, was attendance at the May 23 morning papal audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square. This year, Niagara University students and faculty – including Marian Granfield, director of art history with museum studies, and Maureen Stevens, associate professor of theatre and fine arts – were among the pilgrim groups in attendance that were announced and welcomed by the pope. The NU students proudly waved their purple pennants upon being recognized by the pontiff.
The unique faculty-led study abroad opportunity follows a spring semester course, AHM/REL 340 – Religion and Art: The Art of the Vatican and Rome, which was designed by Granfield and Dr. Amelia Gallagher, associate professor of religious studies.
Launched in 2016, this year marks the third time Granfield has taught the course and led students on the trip abroad. Students stay at St. John’s University’s Rome campus, located in the Prati District of Rome, a safe neighborhood with shops and restaurants and within walking distance of the Vatican, metro stops, and major sites.