AU Students and Faculty Participate in Pilgrimage to Rome

AU Students and Faculty Participate in Pilgrimage to Rome
Ashland University students, faculty and community members pose for a group photo in front of the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Assisi, Italy. Those participating were front (l-r): Katie Bailey, Katie Dailey, Francis Boggs, Sage Weber, Rylie Weber; middle (l-r): Denise Hawk, Nicole Cottrell, Father Vincent Hawk, Cindy Link, Lia Downs, Emily Vitek, Seiko Hupfer, Marissa Humphries, Cheyenne Breitinger. Sarah Ross, Jenny Stein; and back (l-r): Greg Kuns, Nate Ediger, Jen Ediger, Dave Link, Ramona Zimmerman, Alli Lange, Mark Gorsuch, Mike Hupfer, Amanda Wise and David Aune.

4/16/18 ASHLAND, Ohio - A group of 24 students, faculty and community members participated in a seven-day pilgrimage to Rome, Vatican City, Assisi and Florence.  The program “Legacy Peter and Paul in Italy” was constructed by Ashland University’s Global Education Director Rebecca Parillo with a class offered in conjunction with the trip to Italy taught by Dr. David Aune, associate professor of religion at Ashland University.

“The Legacy of Peter and Paul in Italy" study tour was truly a transformative experience for our AU students,” Aune said. “We gained insights about the beginnings of the Roman Catholic Church and experienced its vitality and splendor throughout Rome, Assisi and Florence.  And everyone agreed: the gelato was awesome beyond words.”

On the itinerary was a wide variety of programing ranging from a taste of the local Roman and Tuscan cuisine to visiting nearly 20 different churches along the way.  Some secular sights that were seen in Rome included the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and the Roman Forum.   

Mark Gorsuch, a sophomore Ashland University student, said that this once-in-a-lifetime event was a wonderful experience and the trip was filled with “eye-opening wonder.” 

Other favorite places of interest of the students included Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the general audience with Pope Francis, and the tour of the Catacombs.

“This experience provided me with a really unique way to learn about the history of the Christian faith,” Ashland University sophomore, Alli Lange said.  “My favorite place we went was the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem—what a powerful experience it was!  So many things to see, so many things to reflect upon.”

The “Legacy of Peter and Paul in Italy” tour offered students the opportunity to grow in their faith as they explored the interrelationship between the Roman Catholic Church and Italian culture.

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2018, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###