Wednesday, 28th October 2020

Sunday Mass at the Irish College

Posted on 05. Jul, 2020 by in Banner, Carousel

Sunday Mass at the Irish College

As many are aware, the College has livestreamed Sunday Mass for some months on YouTube. 

We will continue to do so over the summer months, while being open to a limited number of people joining us for the celebration of the Eucharist. You can find the YouTube Channel here where you can always find the ‘Live’ video each Sunday. You may find it helpful to ‘Subscribe’ to our Channel, which means you will always be notified when we go live. You can customise these notifications by clicking the bell icon below any of our videos. This will let you get the notifications you would like to receive. 

If you plan to join us in-person, we are making use of face masks / coverings, social distancing, hand sanitiser, good sense, and the responsible cooperation of all involved. We are grateful to all who join us for their presence, which is always a source of joy for us, and for their collaboration in keeping the College safe for all of us. 

New Opportunities at the Irish College

Posted on 12. Jun, 2020 by in Banner, Carousel

Archbishop Jorge Patron Wong – Secretary for Seminaries at the Congregation for the Clergy – First Visitor to the Irish College post COVID-19 lockdown, 10th June 2020. Included in the photo are the College Formation Team, from L-R: Fr John Coughlan, Vice-Rector; Fr Aidan Ryan, Spiritual Director; and Fr Paul Finnerty, Acting-Rector, as well as postgraduate priests in ongoing formation at the College.

New Opportunities in Formation Open up at the Irish College, Rome

“The Irish College is an almost four-hundred year old resource for the Church in Ireland that is ready to play a key role in the renewal and revitalisation of the Irish mission.” – Fr Paul Finnerty

Speaking at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome today, the Acting Rector, Fr Paul Finnerty, welcomed decisions taken by the Irish Bishops at their summer meeting this week.

He said, “The formation of priests for mission in Ireland is one of the keys to the renewal and revitalisation of the Irish Church. I believe that the decisions taken by the Trustees today have this goal in mind.”

As part of the overall renewal of priestly formation for the Irish mission, the Trustees of the Pontifical Irish College have decided that the College will not receive seminarians for the year 2020-21, and to review the question of initial formation for the priesthood in the future.

The Bishops also decided to continue their support for the ongoing formation programme for priests at the College. There have been over thirty priests in residence from across the globe, including Ireland, throughout this academic year. As in previous years, a sabbatical programme for Irish priests has been offered. It was also decided to continue supporting the very successful semester-abroad programme for American seminarians, hosted at the Irish College since 2016.

Fr Paul noted, “Of course, formation in the Christian life is not the preserve of the seminary, nor indeed of any house of formation. Rather, formation begins in the family, it is sustained in the community of faith, and our prayer is that Christian discipleship will be renewed and revitalised using all of the resources available. The Irish College is an almost four-hundred year old resource for the Church in Ireland that is ready to play a key role in the renewal and revitalisation of the Irish mission.”

The College also continues to provide a place of hospitality and welcome for Irish pilgrims to the eternal city, as well being a dynamic link between the Church in Ireland and the Universal Church, centred in Rome.

As the model of formation for priests in Ireland continues to be inspired by the Ratio for Seminary Formation, Fr Paul and his staff offer their prayerful support to the President, Rector and staff of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Collaboration in the formation of priests for the Irish mission has always been a hallmark of the relationship between the two Colleges. Fr Paul looks forward to enhancing and developing this collaboration into the future. He said of this, “For several years now, we have had a highly successful semester abroad programme for seminarians from the USA. We look forward to being able to provide similar formation experiences for the Irish Church.”

Over the last decades, throughout Ireland, new forms of ministry have emerged – the permanent diaconate, parish catechists, and parish pastoral workers, to name but a few. Fr Paul continued, “I look forward to supporting these new ministries by offering opportunities for nourishment in the faith-filled, historical, and cultural environment of the eternal city. The broad, global and universal viewpoint offered by a Roman experience has been enriching for many priests and people down through the centuries. This remains true today, and into the future, for leaders of the Church in Ireland.”



Notes to Editors:
The Irish College in Rome was founded in 1628 by Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi and a Franciscan priest from Waterford, Fr Luke Wadding. Since that time it has had five homes.  The latest of these is on the Coelian hill near the Basilica of St John Lateran. In 1926, the then Rector, Msgr John Hagan, purchased the site and built a handsome building for the College which, for over 90 years now, has served the Church in Ireland as one of our two national seminaries.

Over its four-century history, hundreds of seminarians have discerned their vocations at the College as they prepared to answer God’s call to the priesthood. Among their number were St Oliver Plunkett, 1625-1681; Blessed Columba Marmion, 1858-1923; and, Venerable Ragheed Ganni, 1972-2007. Over the centuries successive Rectors and staff of the College have responded to the changing circumstances of the world around them.

Msgr Denis McDaid led the College through the very difficult years of World War II, when student numbers were reduced to single figures. The College hosted most of the Irish bishops during the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Since then, as seminarian numbers have gradually reduced in Ireland, the College became a home to an increasing number of postgraduate priests from all five continents. Since 2016, each semester, successive groups of seminarians from the USA have had the experience of formation in Rome at the Irish College.

The College has adapted in many ways to the recent crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The community undertook a twelve-week lockdown, successfully preserving all members from the virus. Postgraduate students continued to reside in the College, completing their studies online. Seminarians relocated to their home dioceses in Ireland, and continued their formation programme online, completing exams in recent weeks.

ADVISORY: Contacting the College

Posted on 13. Mar, 2020 by in Carousel

From today, Friday 13th March 2020, until further notice, the office at the College will be closed.

If you wish to contact the College, please do so by email to and we will endeavour to respond as soon as possible. 




New Appointments

Posted on 13. Mar, 2020 by in Carousel

At the conclusion of the Spring meeting of the Irish Episcopal Conference on 12th March 2020, it was announced that a new Rector and Vice-Rector will be appointed to the Irish College. 

“Bishops expressed their deep gratitude to Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll of the Archdiocese of Dublin for his generous ministry as Rector of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, which comes to an end after nine years of service. Bishops announced that Father Paul Finnerty of the Diocese of Limerick, currently Vice-Rector, will become Acting-Rector of the College. The current director of formation, Father John Coughlan of the Diocese of Elphin, will become vice-rector.”

ADVISORY: Sunday Mass at the Irish College

Posted on 07. Mar, 2020 by in Carousel

© Pharexia / / CC-BY-SA-4.0

The spiritual journey of Lent 2020 has taken on a new form due to the international health emergency linked to covid-19. The Church of Rome responds with faith, proposing the traditional means of spiritual struggle: prayer, fasting, charity. These guidelines want to give concrete form to the way of living these ordinary instruments of the Lenten journey in the current context…
Monsignor Pierangelo Pedretti, prelate secretary of the Vicariate of the Diocese of Rome, 5 March 2020

As all are aware, the emergence of the coronavirus has resulted in various measures designed to mitigate the outbreak in the population generally.

As a result, the College has decided that there will not be a celebration of Sunday Eucharist which is open to the public. This is an interim measure, taking account both of civil legislation here in Italy as well as ecclesiastical norms issued by the Diocese of Rome.



For more information please click on the links below:

Advent Carol Service 2019

Posted on 25. Nov, 2019 by in Carousel

The Pontifical Irish College annual “Advent Service & Carols” will take place on Friday 6th December at 6pm in the College Chapel, followed by refreshments.


All are welcome! 

Heywood Community School Choir in Concert, 21st September 2019

Posted on 09. Aug, 2019 by in Carousel

Sacred Music Choir and Traditional Irish Music Group

The Heywood Community School Sacred Music Choir and Traditional Irish Music Group, under the direction of Julianne Woods, will be in Concert on Saturday evening, 21st September 2019, at 6pm.

All are welcome to attend this very special event! 


Date: Saturday 21st September 2019

Time: 6pm

Venue: Pontifical Irish College

Lenten Charity 2019

Posted on 09. Jun, 2019 by in Carousel

On Sunday 9th June, the feast of Pentecost, our Rector, Msgr Ciarán O’Carroll announced the proceeds of our Lenten Charity Collection. The College chose two charities this year: Trócaire, which is the Irish Bishops’ Conference development organisation, and ACERO (Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation).

The total amount raised was €2,650 which will be equally divided between the chosen charities.

This was achieved in a number of ways: contributions from all residents of the College, from the Sunday congregation, through raffles at the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, and through our “Fasting Friday” initiative throughout Lent. We are grateful to everyone who supported these worthy causes! 

For more information about ACERO please click here

For more information about Trócaire please click here

Sant’Egidio Community Lunch with Guests 2019

Posted on 02. May, 2019 by in Carousel

Fr Roberto Cherubini presides at Mass in the College Chapel of All the Saints of Ireland, 1st May 2019 – Images courtesy of Tino Veneziano

On the 1st of May, Memorial of St Joseph the Worker, and the festa del lavoro here in Italy, the Irish College community hosted approximately four hundred guests as well as volunteers for Mass followed by lunch. Fr Roberto Cherubini, a member of the Comunità di Sant’Egidio, and a friend of the Irish College over many years, was the chief celebrant of the Mass. 

For more information about the Comunità di Sant’Egidio click here

This time of prayer and shared meal has become a well-established annual occasion on the Irish College Calendar. It is an opportunity for us, seminarians and priests, to minister alongside the members of the Comunità di Sant’Egidio here in Rome.

Entertainment for the Guests after Lunch – Images courtesy of Tino Veneziano

All of the Irish seminarians at the College complete at least one pastoral placement with the Comunità during their time of formation in the city. 

For more images from the day please click here. 

Holy Week and Easter 2019

Posted on 14. Apr, 2019 by in Carousel


Basilica di San Silvestro in Capite LPLT [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

The Paschal Triduum at San Silvestro

The College community will be joining the Pallottine Fathers and their community at the Basilica di San Silvestro in Capite (click on this link for a map) to celebrate the Easter Triduum.

Please scroll down for the full details of the times of liturgies. 


Easter Sunday at the Irish College

On Easter Sunday, the Mass of the Easter Day of the Lord’s Resurrection will be celebrated in the College Chapel at 10am. 






Times of Liturgies

The following are the times for the liturgies for Holy Week and Easter 2019. All are welcome.

Holy Thursday, 18th April: Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 17.00 (San Silvestro in Capite)

Good Friday, 19th April: Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 17.00 (San Silvestro in Capite)

Holy Saturday, 20th April: The Easter Vigil at 20.00 (San Silvestro in Capite)

Easter Sunday, 21st April: Mass at 10.00 (Irish College Chapel)