The Drs. Diaz and family were back at the Lay Centre this evening. This time, the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, his wife (and fellow theologian) Marian, and two of their boys brought over a Cajun-themed dinner to help celebrate a culture night focusing on Lousiana. Apparently, culture and movie nights were a fairly common activity at Villa Richardson under Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, and the Diaz family is looking to continue the custom at least occasionally in partnership with the Lay Centre (which Ambassador Diaz called the family’s second home in Rome this evening!).
The public affairs officer in the Embassy is J. Nathan Bland, a Lousiana native who shared a presentation about the people, faith, culture and cuisine of his home state. We were doubly honored by the presence of Nathan’s mother who was visiting Rome for the first time! Nathan shared his experience growing up as an African-American Catholic, a double minority in northern Louisiana, and his journey of discovery of black Catholic history and experience. The Ambassador then shared thoughts on his experience working with Latino and African-American Catholic theology.
The evening was capped with a viewing of Disney’s Princess and the Frog, notable as the first Disney feature film whose protagonist is an African-American, and is set in New Orleans.
I do not know the last time I have seen a room of 40 grown adults watching a Disney movie, but it was a sight to see! The food was good, too!