Dear Friends, Laudetur Jesus Christus! Registration is now open for this year’s Veterum Sapientia Latin Immersion Workshop, which will be held from July 25-31, 2021
As a non-profit organization, VSI relies heavily on your generosity. May God reward you!
JCL201: Ius Canonicum latine traditum$200.00 Add to cart
TLL300: De Orationibus Missalis Romani$200.00 Add to cart
LAT103: Introductory Latin – 3rd Quarter$300.00 Add to cart
LAT101: Introductory Latin (Omnibus) – 1st Quarter$300.00 Add to cart
VSI Coffee Mug$15.00 Add to cart
VSI 3” Bumper Sticker$5.00 Add to cart
VSI Baseball Cap$30.00 Add to cart
Veterum Sapientia Institute Charlotte, North Carolina Inauguration 22 November 2020
From the earliest ages of the Church, the Latin language, as the universal language of the Church, has served as a most providential instrument of unity in faith, worship, and discipline. Whoever wishes to understand deeply the most important texts of the Magisterium, of the Sacred Liturgy, and of Canon Law must have knowledge of Latin as a key to knowing those monuments of the living Tradition as it has reached us today, in an unbroken and organic line, from the time of the Apostles. Latin, noteworthy for its nobility and clarity, has always provided a single language for the Church alive in so many different cultures employing so many different languages. For that reason, the Roman Pontiffs, including most recently Pope Benedict XVI, have steadfastly insisted on the necessity of the knowledge of Latin for students of the Church and, above all, for seminarians and priests.
With all of the above in mind, news of the inauguration of the Veterum Sapientia Institute in the Diocese of Charlotte in North Carolina has brought me great joy and encouragement. It is a wonderful sign of the vitality of the Apostolic Tradition in our own time. I most highly commend His Excellency, the Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte, Father Jason Barone, Dr. Eric Hewett, Dr. Nancy Llewellyn, and all who are working with them in the inauguration of the Institute. At the same time, I ask that Our Lord, through the intercession of His Virgin Mother, abundantly bless the Institute and make it most fruitful for the good of all in the Church. In accord with the intention of Pope Saint John XXIII, expressed in his Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, may the Institute which bears the name of the same Apostolic Constitution be the vehicle by which “the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored” (“ut vetus et numquam intermissa linguae Latinae retineatur consuetudo, et, sicubi prope exoleverit, plane redintegretur” [Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Vol. LIV, p. 132]).”
Almost nine years ago, I sweated over buying plane tickets. Should I pay extra for the ability to cancel? I was considering traveling halfway across the country for a conference called Veterum sapientia. If I went, it would be my first time at a spoken-Latin workshop. The famous Fr. Reginald Foster would be there, and it was billed as a somewhat Catholic event. I loved Latin. I loved reading it, hearing it, and occasionally writing it. I wanted to speak it, but there were only dead ends. As a parish priest in the midwest, I was the best Latinist around, which wasn't to say I was even that good, just that Latin wasn't on anybody else's radar.
I bit the bullet and bought the tickets. I even convinced my brother, living in Ohio at the time, to meet me there. I told myself at the time, "This is it. This is the Latin camp you always wanted to try. Now you will have gotten to do it once in your life." It had been so hard to make room in the parish schedule to be gone even for a week, that I had to make a promise like that to myself, to give myself permission to indulge in something that seemed like a mere personal hobby, that no one around me cared about.
And then I went. And Veterum Sapientia blew me away. Of course I was shy. I'm very shy anyway, but the fear of speaking Latin for the first time made it much worse. Several times I forgot completely what I had said a few words in, butchered the sequence of tenses, and, naturally, didn't know the words for the most basic items of ordinary use. It still blew me away. The non-judgmental, encouraging environment, and the pedagogy! My whole study of Latin had been the familiar grammar-translation method, with Jenney's and Wheelock's. Whatever else I had was inconsistent and on the side.
Most of all, at Veterum Sapientia that first time, I realized that there were other people in the universe who cared about this language. Maybe I wasn't alone. Maybe I wasn't so crazy. So I resolved that I would go each year, no matter what. That barring a true disaster, I would leave my parish and make the trip. One year that meant getting up at 1:00am for a flight. Other years it meant leaving a half-day early because I couldn't get coverage for the weekend Masses. But, no matter what I had to do, I went. And so I have gone to the conference every year for now 8 complete years.
In that time, Veterum Sapientia has only gotten better--and more Catholic. I have become a committed Veterum Sapientia evangelist, and I have seen how helpful it can be. As the world of secular Latinity increases and Church Latin decreases, we need movements like this to reverse the trend. The addition of further workshops, the partnership with the seminary in Charlotte, and now the launch of the expanded Veterum Sapientia Institute, are all going to bear fruit for the Church of 2030, 2040, and beyond. The effective, friendly, Catholic learning environment that VSI creates is unmatched in the United States right now. To anyone who is on the fence about trying this out, I say Duc in altum!