From October to December 2018 a team of students from the Catholic University of America made an important contribution to the activities of the Basilica of St. Bartolomeo all’Isola and for the Shrine of the New Martyrs.
Maria Horner, Rebecca Lemon, Bridget Bagileo and Gabriella Silvestri, on a basis, welcomed English-speaking pilgrims for guided tours inside the Basilica, translated some sections of the website and of the explanatory sections of the chapels hosting the memoirs of the New Martyrs, and communicated through social media.
Thank you for your precious work!
Working at San Bartolomeo was a unique experience that truly enriched my semester in Rome. I loved being able apply what I was learning about the Italian language to actual translation work, and then being able to see the fruit of my work in the church! Studying the history of the church and its cultural importance allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the history and culture of Rome itself. I feel that as a result of this experience, I have a stronger connection to the city.
Volunteering at San Bartolomeo all’isola was one of the most impactful experiences I had while studying abroad in Rome. There are hundreds of churches in Rome, all of which are beautiful and meaningful in their own ways. However, it is rare to get to know enough about or spend enough time in just one of them to feel at home like you would at a parish in the US. Having the opportunity to return to and work at San Bartolomeo allowed me to feel like a parishioner at a church thousands of miles from home. In addition, because San Bartolomeo is the shrine to the martyrs of the modern era, every time I went there I experienced a profound sense of others’ faith in and love for Christ. This shrine not only commemorates Catholic martyrs, but also martyrs from other denominations of Christianity and during my time at San Bartolomeo I also experienced the strong unity among Christians across the world.
Working at San Bartolomeo has been an incredible experience. On the one hand, we got to improve our Italian language understanding and explore the area of translation work which we had not previously done. However, more importantly, we got to build a relationship with the Basilica, one small pocket of Rome. I have visited many beautiful churches since being here, but I have found a passion for San Bartolomeo and the memories she preserves of the New Martyrs. Had I not volunteered there, I would not have had that. I am proud to know that my peers and I are able to help bring more English-speaking visitors and pilgrims to this beautiful and unique Basilica.
Volunteering at San Bartolomeo was one of my favorite experiences in Rome. Spending every other Wednesday there gave me the opportunity to really get to know one particular church, since I was only able to spend a few minutes in most others. Translating the descriptions of the relics kept there allowed me to both practice my Italian and get to know the stories of recent witnesses to the Christian faith — two things that helped to make my semester in Rome unforgettable!