Benedictine Heritage Study Tour

 The purpose of the Benedictine Heritage Study Tour is to help employees deepen their understanding of our Catholic Benedictine heritage.  The tours provide an opportunity to personally encounter the historic Italian and Bavarian sites to which the Benedictine communities of Saint John’s and Saint Benedict’s trace their origins. 


Application Information

If you are curious about what you may experience on this study tour, a good source of information is a video that one of the 2010 groups produced as a result of their tour.  This 15-minute video can be viewed at this link, Tour Video   

Eligibility:  Eligibility is limited to employees of Saint John's University, the Order of Saint Benedict, and joint employees of CSB.  In the event of numerous applicants, preference will be given to those with five or more years of continuous service.  Members of administrative and support staffs as well as faculty members are encouraged to apply.  Applicants scheduled to work at the time of the tours should first consult with their supervisor to determine if participation is appropriate and possible in relation to departmental operations and staffing coverage.  Written evidence of supervisory consultation must be provided through receipt of the supervisor approval form.  (See How to Apply section.)  The principal criterion for participant selection is the strength of their application.  See the directions below for the expected content.  In the case of equally strong applications in the same area, preference will be given to the person with the longest continuous full-time employment.      

How to Apply:   

  • Submit a narrative of not more than three pages explaining why you are interested in this experience, what you hope to learn from it, and how your participation will benefit your work and service in our campus communities in the years to come. 
  • Indicate which dates you prefer.
  • If you know conversational Italian or German, or if you have international travel experience, it would be helpful to mention that in your narrative. 
  • Please use the attached form to confirm your supervisor's acknowledgement and approval of your participation.  If you submit a hard copy of your application, attach a signed copy of this form with your application.  If you send your application electronically, please ask your supervisor to send the approval separately - a hard copy or electronically.  No applications will be considered until supervisor approval has been received.  Faculty who are not under contract at the time of the scheduled tours are not required to submit this form.

Please note:  The Benedictine Heritage Study Tours are offered as a special professional development opportunity.  Administrative and support staff tour participants regularly scheduled to work during the travel dates will receive their regular pay for the time they would have normally been scheduled to work and will not be required to use accrued vacation leave.   

Costs:  Transportation, housing and some meals will be paid for by the Benedictine Institute.  Participants will be asked to contribute $350 to help cover side tours such as the ancient sites in Rome and the Vatican Museum as well as tips for guides.  Participants will also be responsible for obtaining a passport, paying for some meals, and any personal expenses.  Regarding meals, the tour will pay for all breakfasts and three lunches.  Participants will be expected to pay for all other meals.  Also please note that all rooms will be double occupancy. 

Participant Obligation:  In addition to contributing $350 toward the cost of the trip, each participant will be asked to do preparatory work prior to departure.  This includes attending and participating in all group meetings before departure, reading selected books, researching historical aspects of sites the group will visit, and writing a short reflection paper.  Everyone selected is expected to fully participate while on-site and to share with students and co-workers what they have learned about Benedictine history and values upon their return by incorporating the learning into their job.  Therefore, individuals who anticipate terminating their employment at the end of FY13 or in FY14 are asked not to apply for this professional development opportunity. 

Deadline:  In order to be considered for either tour your application must be submitted to Fr. Hilary Thimmesh, Benedictine Institute, Quad 241, SJU by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, October 28, 2013.  Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by mid-November, 2013.  Please direct any questions to Gloria Hardy. 


 2014 Benedictine Heritage Study Tour Participants

May 19th-30th, 2014


Erik Aschenbeck                                          Admissions Office

Raj Chaphalkar                                            Institutional Advancement

Andy Dirksen                                               Res. Life/Intercultural Studies

Marie Eli                                                       Institutional Advancement

Chick Hardy - Co-director                        Benedictine Institute

Mary Ann Haws                                           SJU President's Office

Terry Johnson                                             Education Department

Kelly Kraemer                                              Peace Studies

Derek Larson                                               Environmental Studies

Scott Murphy                                               Art Department

Stacy Penk                                                    McCarthy Center

Tom Stock                                                     Athletics

Joe Schneeweis, OSB - Co-director         SJU Abby/Benedictine Institute

John Walz                                                     Abbey Housekeeping