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Vatican offers internships to students


The Roman Curia will open its doors to Australian Catholic University (ACU) students following a new formal agreement with the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

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The internship agreement will offer students a chance to work closely with the Dicastery’s officials in the Vatican promoting the advancement of youth, family and elderly ministry, bioethics, sport, and supporting the development of the life and apostolate of the lay faithful.

Ranging from 8 to 24 weeks duration, the unique professional placements will give students a rare insight into the work of the Roman Curia through involvement in the Dicastery’s events, participating in significant research and supporting communications channels.

ACU vice chancellor and president, Zlatko Skrbis, said the internship continued ACU’s commitment to working closely with significant institutions within the Catholic Church.

“Following on from our historic partnership with the Australian Embassy to the Holy See earlier this year, this new agreement with the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life will give our students more opportunities to work inside the administrative offices that support the Pope’s governance of the Church,” Professor Skrbis said.

“Our students will undoubtedly come away from their internship experience with a level of understanding of local customs, culture and ways of working, as well as an appreciation of the complex nature of the Catholic Church. ACU is once again committed to finding more ways to strengthen our identity and connection to the Eternal City.”

The university already has significant connections with the Dicastery as Malcolm Hart of the National Centre for Evangelisation is a consultor of the Dicastery and holds a graduate certificate in Leadership and Catholic Culture from ACU. The Blacktown campus’ pastoral associate (students), Madeline Forde, formerly of Adelaide, is also the Australian representative of the Dicastery’s international youth advisory body.

Pope Francis established the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in 2016 to take over the responsibilities of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family. The Dicastery is responsible for the advancement of vocations, the mission of the faithful lay in the Church, the pastoral care of young people and families, and the development and protection of human life.

One of the Dicastery’s major undertakings is the World Youth Day, the largest Catholic youth festival in the world held every two to three years, including in Sydney in 2009 and next year in Lisbon. Other World Days organised by the Dicastery are the World Meeting of Families, being held in Rome in June, and the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in July.

For more information about the ACU Rome Internship at the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, contact ACU Study Abroad and Exchange on 02 9739 2074 or email


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