Hosting Brian Berni

The Academy for the Study of St. Ambrose of Milan (The Academy) is sad to share that Dr. Claudia Montuschi’s presentation of “Images of Ambrose” must be postponed until December 2015 due to unanticipated circumstances.

However, The Academy is very excited to announce that it will mark 2014‘s Feast of St. Ambrose on Dec. 7, 2014 at St. Ambrose University by hosting palaeographer and archivist Brian Berni. Mr. Berni will present his findings of research he is conducting on a manuscript of St. Ambrose’s de Officies, published December 4, 1514. A viewing of the text will mark the 500th anniversary of this text, which was recently acquired by The Academy. Mr. Berni will also discuss conclusions that can be drawn from his analysis of medieval margin notes that were added after publication. What do these footnotes say about the teachings of Ambrose, and who may have written them? What theological debates were occurring at that time in history and do they relate? Join us for this fascinating adventure into our faith’s past with this incredible, tangible artifact!

About Our Speaker:
Mr. Berni holds a BA in Early Modern History and an MA (Cardiff, UK) in Medieval British Studies.

In 2008 he began his training at the Vatican Secret Archives, where he was employed as an archivist, researcher and Latin translator between 2010 and 2012.  He also holds a degree in Library Science by the Vatican Library.

He has worked on 16th century ecclesiastical libraries, Early Medieval manuscripts and 14th century Papal letters and registers.

He is currently an independent scholar based in Milan, Italy.



Fr. Bud Encourages Student to Study Abroad

Jonathan Wray is a Sophomore at St. Ambrose University, studying Painting, Computer Science and Social Responsibility in the Arts. He is from Charleston, South Carolina. After high school, he spent several years working before joining AmeriCorps, where he was deployed to various disaster response work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), including Hurricane Sandy. After being transferred with AmeriCorps to Vinton, Iowa, Jonathan decided to enroll in undergraduate studies. He chose St. Ambrose because it provided a match of credit for his work with AmeriCorps, he would be able to complete his double-major in four years, and, simply, because SAU was, “the most interesting option.” With some coordination from the Academy for the Study of St. Ambrose of Milan, Jonathan left for Italy on August 31st as part of a fledgling Study Abroad program with St. Ambrose University, and he writes this about it:

“You’re going to Italy. One way or another, you’re going.” Fr. Bud Grant spoke these words to me with the usual confidence he exudes, back in the spring. My name is John Wray and as of Fr. Bud’s convincing, I’ve been prepping for study in Milan, Italy at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart for a semester abroad. Since I enrolled at St. Ambrose, I was told by many that I needed to study abroad at some point. The time has come this fall semester.

St. Ambrose, as most students here at SAU know, was the bishop of Milan and is also the patron saint of the city. What better place to go to learn more about the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and all that sweet honey-tongued goodness which Ambrose is known for. I’ve always wished that I could have been born doing artwork in the renaissance and this opportunity to study abroad will give me a better idea of how the great masters once lived. I’d probably say I’m most excited about seeing all the art in Italy more than anything. Painting is one of my two majors and I hope to absorb the lingering talent to give me the inspiration I need for great artwork. If studying the great masters doesn’t work, then I’ll merely have to eat as much gelato and drink as much espresso as possible to harness my true muses: sugar and caffeine.

Preparing for my study abroad trip has been a rather exciting adventure in itself. The piles of paperwork I had to go through (which all study abroad students have) aged me really quick. So quick, I almost feel like an adult now. To give an idea, I just made an email folder to separate study abroad stuff and I’m already to 90 email conversations – and I haven’t even left yet! What the heck man. Some of those emails however are with my new friend I am helping out when I get to Italy. Brandon is a blind student out of California and is studying abroad in Milan just like all the rest of the international students just with a little bit more attention – such as me being a helper for him. Brandon is an opera singer and will be spending his month after the semester ends singing in opera houses to cover the costs of housing (he’s a super interesting guy). He already is running circles around me in Italian and he even uses it to sing opera. Despite not having sight, Brandon’s determination will get him just as much from the experience abroad as anyone else; he’s even shared some pick-up lines with me already.

The experience in Italy hasn’t yet begun and I’m already getting so much out of it. The staff at SAU in the International and study abroad offices have been so helpful in helping me prepare for this experience. I’d also like to thank the Academy for the Study of St. Ambrose of Milan for their support and insight. There are many other friends and mentors I’d like to thank for helping me get this opportunity and helping me along the way. Two years ago, I was going nowhere in life and now my life has completely changed for the better. It’s funny how moving to Iowa’s corn fields can give life a breath of fresh air.”
• Jonathan Wray




Fr. Bud Grant's Address To New SAU Students


St. Paul's Alba House has informed us that Ambrose of Milan: Deeds and Thought of a Bishop, by Cesare Pasini will be available in English translation "early spring 2012."

In conjunction with the St. Ambrose University Office of Alumni Relations, we announce the 2nd annual "Ambrose's Italy: a study tour for SAU alumni and friends." Participants will explore sites in Rome, Assisi, Florence, and Milan for 10 days: May 25 - June 4 2012. To maximize the experience participation is capped at 10 people. It will challenge and develop participants intellectually, spiritually, socially, artistically, and physcially. Be prepared to wal "a mini-marathon" every day! For details contact Amy Jones at: