Veterum Sapientia Summer Immersion Course for Clerics and Religious

Veterum Sapientia Workshop

Sunday afternoon, July 25 through Saturday morning, July 31, 2021.

St. Joseph College Seminary, Charlotte, NC

Do you want to improve your command of Latin? Has it been a while since you studied Latin and you’d like to reactivate your knowledge? Would you like greater confidence in pronouncing Latin prayers? Veterum Sapientia is a week-long workshop for Catholic priests, religious (both male and female), deacons, and seminarians who want to add a living dimension to their study of Latin. Begun in 2013, our workshop series seeks to respond to JohnXXIII’s call to revitalize the Latin language in the Catholic Church, which he made in his 1962 Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia (English | Latin) and its Ordinationes (English | Latin).
Veterum Sapientia combines a week-long adventure in the Church’s Latin heritage with an intensive, immersive experience of the language itself.


Veterum Sapientia is a Latin-immersion workshop for clerics held annually at Belmont Abbey College between 2013 and 2019. Hosted since 2020 by the Diocese of Charlotte’s new St. Joseph College Seminary, the course is taught by seminary faculty assisted by recent alumni/advanced seminarian students and carefully selected guests. The purpose of Veterum Sapientia is to help Catholic clergy, men and women religious, deacons, and seminarians who have had some formal instruction in Latin hone their skills in a confidence-building environment of fellowship and scholarship.

When & Where

When: July 25-31, 2021
Arriving: Sunday, July 25, 4-6pm
Departing: Saturday, July 31, 10am-12pm
If you have any questions or concerns about arriving late or leaving early, please contact us.

About Our Name

Veterum Sapientia (pronounced [veːtɛrum sapieːntsia] Latin IPA, roughly: VAY-te-rum sah-pee-EN-tsee-ah) is a Latin phrase meaning Wisdom of the Ancients. It is the title of a 1962 Apostolic Constitution of John XXIII in support of Latin in the Church.

Who should attend and what are the benefits?

People who will benefit from participation in Veterum Sapientia include:

  • Priests, men and women religious, deacons, and seminarians who wish to gain greater mastery of the Catholic Church’s heritage language. Doing so will enrich understanding both of Sacred Scripture and of the Latin liturgy, while working toward command of the common language we share with the greatest of the Saints.
  • Priests who have had some formal instruction in Latin and want to celebrate Latin liturgies with greater confidence will benefit from abundant guided practice in speaking.
  • Religious who have been asked to start teaching Latin will increase their knowledge of the subject and gain speaking experience which is immensely valuable as a teaching tool.
  • Deacons and seminarians who have already done some Latin in their seminaries but want to review, consolidate, and build on their knowledge will be able to do so in an encouraging and energizing environment.Note: The above is intended to provide typical examples, but is not an exhaustive list. Potential applicants whose experience does not fit any of the categories above are still encouraged to apply. Such applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    Your Daily Experience

    As a participant, you’ll work with your instructors in plenary and small-group class sessions for a minimum of six and a maximum of eight classroom hours each day. A typical day will take you through intensive class work in the morning, Mass, a lunch break offering time for rest and meditation, an afternoon session combining language with games and physical activity, followed by a Rosary and after-dinner time for fellowship. Your classroom sessions will be immersive, featuring engaging, supportive exercises in speaking, reading, and writing. These will help you grow in understanding the mechanics of the language and internalize new vocabulary by using it. Classes and instructional activities (e.g. meal preparation, meals, games, walks) will be conducted in Latin appropriate to your level of comprehension and that of your fellow participants. Meal preparation will be something we do together as a learning community in our seminary kitchen, directed by a Chief Cook who is also a Latin-speaker.

    Language and Liturgies

    The goal of the Veterum Sapientia program is to help participants develop their understanding of Latin and their ability to use it. Our host institution, St. Joseph College Seminary of Charlotte, will offer us spiritual support in harmony with this goal, viz. daily Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Rosary and opportunities for Adoration.


    St. Joseph College Seminary is located at 22 Arctus Avenue in Belmont, North Carolina, 28120. The address may come up as 1212 Perfection Avenue on many maps and GPS systems because the building and its street are both less than one year old. The main campus of our neighboring partner institution Belmont Abbey College is well visible from exit 26 on southbound Interstate 85, about fifteen minutes distant from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT).


    The registration fee does not include lodging or transportation to and from St. Joseph’s College Seminary (SJCS). However, it does cover meals. Full refunds (minus a $40 processing fee) are available until May 15. If you are interested in participating, but lack necessary funds, please contact us about the possibility of a scholarship.

  • The individual rate is $650 per student.
  • A group rate is offered at $590 per person when two or more people associated with the same institution or school apply. (Examples: two or more priests from the same parish; two or more religious in the same community; two or more seminarians from the same seminary, etc.) Each person in such a group still fills out an individual online application, but one person in the group makes one lump payment for all group members using the appropriate button in the online payment module below. The group rate represents a $60 discount per person.


  • Participants are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements.
  • A limited number of male participants may be able to be housed directly at SJCS for $25 per night.
  • Participating female religious may be able to be housed nearby with the Belmont Sisters of Mercy or the Daughters of the Virgin Mother. Contact workshop management for details. Please contact us using this form if you are interested in staying in a seminary/convent room or if you have any other questions about lodging.
  • Participants who prefer hotel or vacation rental accommodations may book rooms for themselves at nearby hotels or use Air B&B or equivalents. The Belmont Hampton Inn, directly across from the Belmont Abbey College campus (about two miles from St. Joseph College Seminary), offers a discounted Belmont Abbey College rate of $115/night, inclusive of internet and breakfast. You MUST specifically ask for the “BAC rate” when you make your reservation to get the discount. You will also need your own car to go back and forth to the seminary. Hotel accommodations are not included in the registration fee and must be paid for separately by participants who choose them.
  • Meals

    Meals will be cooked communally and taken at St. Joseph’s College Seminary. The cost of all meals is included in the registration fee, including beer and wine.


    The Veterum Sapientia Workshop is open to all Catholic priests, seminarians, and both male and female religious. It is advised that they have at least two semesters of college-level Latin.


    If you need to cancel after registration, you must notify the organizer IN WRITING in order to receive a refund, whether partial or full. If you give this notification on or before July 1 your registration fee will be refunded to you in full. A registrant cancelling after July 1 will still receive full refund of the tuition fee provided that we receive another application to replace it. In the event we do receive such a replacement registration, all fees paid will be refunded in full. If we do not receive a replacement registration, $100 will be retained and the remainder refunded.

    Veterum Sapientia is cosponsored by St. Joseph’s College Seminary of the Diocese of Charlotte.


    Dr Eric Hewett

    Dr Hewett studied linguistics, ancient and modern languages before learning to speak Latin with Fr. Reginald Foster in Rome and completing a doctorate in medieval philosophy at the University of Salerno.

    Dr Nancy Llewellyn

    Dr Llewellyn (UCLA) is Associate Professor of Latin at Belmont Abbey College, coming to North Carolina after a decade at Wyoming Catholic College. Before embarking on her doctoral work, she studied with Fr. Reginald Foster in Rome. Returning to the USA, Nancy founded SALVI in 1997 and has served on its board ever since, directing SALVI workshops (Rusticationes) around the country and abroad. In addition to her work at BAC, she also teaches at Charlotte’s new St. Joseph College Seminary.

    Dr John Pepino

    Dr John Pepino teaches Latin and Greek at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, the seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) in Nebraska, USA. He also teaches online Latin courses using Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina series. His own bilingual background (French and English) and boyhood in multilingual Europe predisposed him to a natural, oral/aural approach to Latin. His interests also include the decline of the living Latin culture in the Western Church as well as the means the Holy See advocates to recover it.

    Fr Dylan Schrader

    Fr Dylan Schrader is a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, ordained in 2010. He holds a PhD in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America and is the translator of several Scholastic works, including “On the Motive of the Incarnation,” the first volume in CUA’s Early Modern Catholic Sources series, and Book 2 of Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the Sentences, edited by the Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine. Fr. Schrader is the author of “The Shortcut to Scholastic Latin,” published by the Paideia Institute Press. He has attended every Veterum Sapientia conference since its inception.

    Fr Kevin Zilverberg

    Fr Zilverberg is Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture and a formation director at St. Paul Seminary (U. of St. Thomas, MN). He has given many lectures in Latin on diverse topics of Catholic interest. His biblical and Latin expertise converge in his study of the Old Latin, Vulgate and Neo-Vulgate versions of the Bible, a convergence reflected in his publications. He wrote his doctoral dissertation (SSD – Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome) on Old Latin Daniel, which was honored summa cum laude.

    Fr Roberto Spataro

    Fr Roberto Spataro, sdb, born in 1965 in South-Italy, is Professor of Early Christian Literature at the Pontificium Institutum Altioris Latinitatis of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 as Secretary of the Pontifical Academy of Latin. His publications cover different areas, such as Patrology, Church History, Mariology. He supports the use of living Latin. He is a member of the Academia Latinitati fovendae.

    Plus guest speakers to be announced…

    Veterum Sapientia 2021 Form