Important announcement by Fr. Barone’s Latin Institute

Laudetur Iesus Christus! As many of you know, our diocese is home to the Veterum Sapientia Institute (VSI), a Latin language institute co-founded by Fr. Barone, Dr. Nancy Llewellyn (Latin professor at Belmont Abbey/St. Joseph’s seminary), Dr. Eric Hewett, and others.  

This week VSI issued a major announcement – the establishment of a Diploma in Ecclesiastical Latin degree program. This is program forms the backbone of their accreditation and Institute overall. We share their press release at the bottom of the e-mail.

The degree program is among many projects in the works, and they hope to offer other certificate programs for Latin Mass attendees, homeschoolers, etc.

In order to do so, they need both prayers and financial support. Specifically, the support will help them achieve their goals more quickly and efficiently. To learn more or to support their work please visit:



Veterum Sapientia Institute is very pleased to announce the establishment of its new accredited degree program, the Diploma Latinitatis Ecclesiasticae (Diploma in Ecclesiastical Latin.) This program is launched in partnership with the Pontifical Institute for Higher Latinity, a faculty of the Salesian University in Rome, which shares VSI’s commitment to promoting the study of Ecclesiastical Latin. On January 25th of this year, the program received the official approval of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education. 

According to Dr Eric Hewett, President and Co-founder of the Institute, “This new diploma program opens up a clear and practical path to mastery of the Latin of the Church, and brings St John XXIII’s vision to life in our own day. We are especially thrilled to be able to make this announcement on the 60th anniversary of his Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, for which the Institute is named.”

The DLE is a three-year program designed especially for clergy and religious, in order to give them the necessary tools to become thoroughly familiar with the “wisdom of the ancients” contained in both the ecclesiastical and secular literature of the Latin language.  VSI President Eric Hewett comments, “This new diploma program opens up a clear & practical path to mastery of the Latin of the Church, and brings John XXIII’s vision to life in our own day.”

The program is divided into two levels called “milestones.” In the first, after learning the fundamentals of Latin from the popular Familia Romana series, students will take three courses in the classical authors, both in poetry and prose, and the basic texts of ecclesiastical Latin such as the Catechism and the Order of Mass. At the completion of this first milestone, the student will receive a certificate of completion from VSI.

The second milestone will focus on various forms of Ecclesiastical Latin, with specialized courses in a wide variety of topics such as the Bible, the Church Fathers, the Catholic philosophical and theological tradition, liturgy and canon law. This part of the program will be completed with a special Summer Intensive Capstone Course, to be taken either in Rome or remotely, wherein students will work directly with the PIAL. At the conclusion, students will submit a thesis to the PIAL in Latin on a topic related to the DLE curriculum.

Following the inspiration of Fr Reginald Foster, with whom many members of VSI studied, our preferred mode of teaching will be to treat Latin as a living language, actively spoken by both teachers and students in class. 

Since we recognize that the duties of many clergy and religious may make it difficult for them to dedicate themselves to the program on a full-time basis, students will have the options to fulfill the course requirements in non-consecutive semesters, or to take on a reduced course load per semester.

The program’s first semester will be offered in autumn of this year; VSI looks forward to fulfilling the mission entrusted to it by the Church, in keeping with Pope St John XXIII’s vision for the preservation and promotion of the study of Latin.