Students Visit Vatican Mission to UN

Author: Renée LaReau

Claire Brosnihan at United Nations headquarters

Two Notre Dame political science and peace studies undergraduates recently spent a week in New York City interacting with United Nations ambassadors and Vatican officials during an intensive seminar for college students sponsored by the Path to Peace Foundation.

Claire Brosnihan and Nicholas Schilling were among 62 students from the United States and Canada invited to learn more about the social teachings of the Catholic Church, its work for peace around the world, and the diplomatic activities of the Holy See Mission to the U.N. (The Holy See is the diplomatic term for the Vatican.)

Students met with Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the U.N. and president of the Path to Peace Foundation; Ambassador James Nicholson, who served as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See from 2001-2005; and other U.N. ambassadors and senior officials. They also met with Gerard Powers, director of Catholic peacebuilding studies at the Kroc Institute, who participated in a panel on Catholic peacebuilding.

“I learned just how much the Catholic Church participates in world affairs—everything from nuclear proliferation to the Israeli-Palestinan conflict to immigration and refugee issues,” says Brosnihan, a political science and peace studies major.

“I did a lot of thinking about what it means to be American and Catholic and to participate in international politics,” says Schilling, a political science major with minors in peace studies and international development studies.

Students attended lectures on diplomacy, poverty and social development, human rights, and world peace and security. They also toured the U.N. General Assembly Hall and Security Council Chamber and visited New York City landmarks such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

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