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Overheard at the Angelicum…

Something i should have started when i arrived was a list of funny things overheard at the Angelicum, and in Rome generally. Here are a few I’ve managed to remember, or pass on from others:

“The Italian concept of diverse ethnic food is that this restaurant Umbrian, the one next to it is Tuscan, and the one across the street serves Roman cuisine.” – visiting professor at the Gregorian

“New Evangelization? How does that work? Is it a 12-step program?”

“Why do we need to study Augustine when we have St. Thomas?” – seminarian in philosophy class

“Lord, I am not worthy to receive your roof… table… whatever…” – At an English-language mass this spring

“I just got out of my ecumenism exam. Why did I have to study this? All the texts say. the. same. thing!” – priest student amply demonstrating why the need for ecumenical reception

“Who is Kant? How do you spell that?” – another seminarian in philosophy

“A.J., your life is like a Jackson Pollock painting.” – (apparently envious) fellow student

“You have to be a little suspect of people who study theology. You wonder why they aren’t smart enough to study something like medicine or law and make money to support a family.” – a highly-placed Catholic theologian

“The state of Catholicism in Italy? It’s basically paganism…” – an Italian cardinal

“You’re coming to Rome? Now, you must have gelato while you are here: You can see the pope, or not see the pope, but gelato is not negotiable.” – theology student giving advice to visitors

“There’s a GIRL in the library!” – shouted by seminarian in shock upon entering the library at his collegio

“I thought ecumenism and dialogue was about getting paid to go to meetings in exotic places and enjoy nice meals” – dogma professor

“The most interesting thing was that I got to witness a consecrated virgin catfight!” – male student at a reception

Exchange in a post office, translated:
“Can I have a stamp?”
“No, you need an envelope.”
“You won’t sell me a stamp if I don’t have an envelope?”
“That’s right.”
“Well, can I have an envelope, then?”
“No, we don’t sell envelopes to people without stamps.”

“The Roman idea of ecumenism is that Jesuits can take classes at the Dominican university and vice versa. It’s a big accomplishment, after 400 years.” – Angelicum professor

‎”We had an Anglican bishop speak to us at the NAC last night. It was outrageous. He even wore a clerical colar. Doesn’t he know that we have the copyright on clergy shirts?” – North American seminarian

“My bishop sent me to Rome for five years, and all I got was an STD” – my proposal for a new line of T-shirts…



  1. Mary says:

    I really enjoyed reading these quotes. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Mary says:

    An Italian American told a young couple that they need to bury a statue of Joseph upside down in the yard of the house they were selling, and once the house sold that they should dig up the buried Joseph statue to take to their new home…. They actually did this, but I think more to please a mother-in-law. The house sold and Joseph is in the kitchen of their new home. I suppose waiting for their next move.

    I wondered what the origins of this custom may have been?

    I believe that the family originated from a small town in the greater vicinity of Naples. I mentioned it to someone here and I was surprised to find that they had heard about it before. If this is an Italian Roman Catholic custom, how did it get started?

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