Vatican launches “School of Arts and Trades” for future artisans
By Devin Watkins & Alessandro Di Bussolo
Twenty students are attending their first day of classes on Monday at the Fabric of Saint Peter as part of the new “School of Arts and Trades”.
The Fratelli Tutti Foundation helped set up the School in collaboration with the Fabric of Saint Peter, which oversees the conservation and maintenance of the Vatican Basilica.
The new students—12 young men and 8 young women—hail from Italy, Peru, Germany, and Belarus.
They will train to become stonemasons, marble workers, plasterers, interior decorators, and carpenters.
Each of the students has already received technical and artistic training, and the course aims to complete their formation through the expertise of the “Sanpietrini”, as the conservation experts of the Fabric of Saint Peter are known.
Courses are held at the Palazzo della Canonica, while practical seminars take place at the workshops of the Fabric.
Forming future artisans
According to Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, President of the Fabric and Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, the School of Arts and Trades seeks to transmit centuries of practical know-how to younger generations.
“The School will help us plant a seed in the soil of human promotion, of formation aimed at service to culture, to the women and men of our time and to the Church,” said the Cardinal. “Thanks to the centuries-old tradition guarded by the Fabric of Saint Peter, to the professionalism of the sanpietrini and to the scientific contribution of the international academic world, we will try to bring to fruition a truly integral formation, capable of involving the spiritual and anthropological dimensions through the teaching of arts and trades.”
Immersive course of studies
Students will reside at the “Villa Aurelia” residence run by the Dehonian Fathers for the entire period of the six-month course.
The course objectives include the professional and personal growth of young artisans and the development of manual skills, along with formation in art history.
Teaching activities consist in cycles of lectures, seminars, guided tours, and study visits to various locations throughout Italy.
As apprentices, the twenty students will receive a full immersion in the technical and spiritual details of St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest and arguably most important Christian church in the entire world.
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