Feast of Santa Cristina of Bolsena (VT): June 23 and 24, 2016

The annual feast in honor of Santa Cristina of Bolsena, venerated in the catacomb of Santa Cristina, will be held on July 23 and 24, 2016.  The schedule of the ancient ritual of the "Mysteries" (misteri), which depict her various trials and martyrdom, begins the evening of the 23 and continues the next morning.  Other program highlights:
July 23 at 10 p.m.: The saint's statue is carried in procession from the Basilica di S. Cristina to the church of SS. Salvatore, as the "Mysteries" are enacted.
July 24 at 10 a.m.: Grand procession and enactment.
July 24 at midnight: Fireworks display over lake (Lago di Bolsena).
For visits to the Catacomb of Santa Cristina, click here.

Jewish Catacombs of Rome: Times of Israel Article Features ICS ED, Jessica Dello Russo

A Times of Israel article of July 15, 2016 by Italian correspondent Rossella Tercatin quotes at length International Catacomb Society Executive Director Jessica Dello Russo about structural and artistic features inside of the Jewish Catacombs of the Vigna Randanini in Rome.

The Times of Israel article also includes observations on the Vigna Randanini site by retired laborer for the Pontificia Commissione di Archeologia Sacra (PCAS), Alberto Marcocci, who is rightly identified as the individual who knows the site best, thanks to over forty years of employment as a catacomb excavator and restorer and twenty in his present position as custodian of the Jewish catacomb site.  As one of the PCAS's chief diggers, Marcocci often accompanied scholars and other visitors to the Christian and Jewish catacombs (the latter under Vatican jurisdiction until 1986), including ICS founder Estelle Shohet Brettman, who took much pleasure in the subterranean visits with her "Diogenes".  Images of Marcocci and Brettman are here.

The link to the Times of Israel article on the Jewish Catacombs of Rome is here.

Photo: Alberto Marcocci, Jessica Dello Russo, Suor Maria Francesca Antongiovanni of the Catacombs of Priscilla, New Liturgical Movement editor Gregory Di Pippo, and other visitors to the Vigna Randanini catacomb.

New Vatican Course on Ancient Jewish and Christian Monuments in Rome

The Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology in Rome (PIAC) is launching a new semester course from February to June of 2017.  Concentrating on the "Monumenti di Roma Cristiana", the course alternates classroom instruction with on-site study of ancient Jewish and Christian archaeological sites, including visits to the Jewish catacombs of Vigna Randanini, the Christian catacombs of Domitilla, Pretestato, Priscilla, and Saints Pietro and Marcellino, the Vatican's "Santa Rosa" cemetery, the paleo-Christian churches of San Clemente, Saints Giovanni and Paolo, San Giovanni in Laterano, the Lateran Baptistry, Santa Maria Antiqua, and the collections of Jewish and Christian artifacts in the Vatican Museums and Cloister of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls.

The language of instruction is Italian, but the course is open to all at the undergraduate or graduate level in any discipline or major.  Most meetings are on Saturday with occasional Thursday and Friday lectures.  Course credit is available (25 CFU) based on attendance and the outcome of an exam in June.

This course is designed to compliment the "Corso Speciale di Iniziazione alle Antichita' Cristiane'", also held at the PIAC from November 2016 to February of 2017.  Following more or less the same schedule of weekend lectures and study tours, this introductory course in Christian Archaeology includes visits to a variety of archaeological sites, including the catacombs of via Dino Compagni on the via Latina, the Coemeterium Maius on the via Nomentana, and the necropolis of Isola Sacra at Fiumicino.

Tuition for one or both courses includes entrance fees into the sites.  The courses may be taken together, or separately.  The "Initiation" course also assigns free passes for participants to visit other catacombs in Rome and around Rome.  For more information about registration and the 2016-2017 schedule, contact the PIAC administration at www.piac.it.  Flyers for the programs are below.

The PIAC also administers full-time Baccalaureate, Licentiate, and Doctoral programs in Christian Archaeology for graduate students with prior work in the field.  These courses are competitive to enter, with a deadline in October for admission.  Tuition includes all fees for a yearly week-long study tour.  A limited number of scholarships are available to international students for the PIAC graduate degree programs.



Cercasi gestore per le catacombe di Villa San Faustino (Massa Martana)

Pubblicato un avviso per la gestione delle visite all'ipogeo di Villa San Faustino: le manifestazioni di interesse entro l'11 luglio 2016.
Massa Martana: cercasi gestore per le catacombe
Da alcuni giorni sul sito ufficiale del Comune di Massa Martana è comparso l’avviso pubblico di un’indagine di mercato per l’individuazione degli operatori economici interessati all’affidamento in concessione del servizio di promozione e organizzazione delle visite alle catacombe di Villa San Faustino.

I soggetti che avranno inviato al Comune la propria manifestazione di interesse alla gestione del sito entro le 12:00 del 11 luglio 2016 verranno invitati a partecipare ad una gara informale in cui verrà scelto il gestore del sito.

Per ulteriori informazioni clicca qui (link)

Huqoq Excavation Project: New Finds in 2016

2016 Shohet Scholar Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presents more stunning examples of polychrome mosaics from the pavement of a synagogue in Huqoq, Galilee.

The International Catacomb Society is contributing toward the continuation of the Huqoq Excavation in 2017 (link).

For further information about the organization and timeline of the Huqoq dig, please visit www.huqoq.org.

New mosaics discovered in synagogue excavations in Galilee