Prefect of Vatican Library gives talk in Davenport


By Barb Arland-Fye

Msgr. Cesare Pasini, the Vatican Library’s prefect, and a top scholar on St. Ambrose, admires a sculpture of the saint with Father Bud Grant, a professor of theology at St. Ambrose University in Davenport. Donna Young created the sculpture for Msgr. Pasini and presented it to him after his speech Dec. 2 in the university’s Rogalski Center.

DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University celebrated its patron saint’s feast day a few days early with a lecture by the Vatican Library’s prefect, considered a top scholar on the fourth-century Doctor of the Church.
Msgr. Cesare Pasini, a priest of Milan, Italy, has also been a resource and partner in the creation and development of the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan at St. Ambrose University. Father Bud Grant, a theology professor at St. Ambrose, led efforts to create this academy, which he also directs, and is translating Msgr. Pasini’s biography of St. Ambrose into English. The saint’s feast day is Dec. 7, but St. Ambrose University celebrated it on the first Sunday in Advent, Dec. 2.
Ambrose of Milan had been a political leader before converting to Catholicism. In short order he was ordained a deacon, priest and bishop be­cause the people of Milan wanted him as their bishop. A senator named Symmachus, a tireless advocate of Roman and pagan traditions, ques­tioned Ambrose about whether he could be both Roman and Christian.
During his lecture, Msgr. Pasini identified five points Ambrose makes in affirming Christianity: It is never a shame to change and go onto better things; abandoning a mistake is not a sign of weakness, but of power; every wise man is free and every fool is a slave; power is an illusion, humiliation never deceives; and he loses what is his, but acquires what is eternal….

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