Conference Overview

Veterum Sapientia is a week-long Latin program for Catholic priests, seminarians, and those men and women belonging to religious orders. This program seeks to respond to the call of Saint John XXIII’s Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia to revitalize the Latin language in the Catholic Church. This full-immersion (Latine tantum) program offers intensive instruction in the language to intermediate and advanced students of Latin.


When & Where

July 31 – August 5, 2017
Arriving: Monday, July 31, 3-6pm
Departing: Saturday, August 5, 10am-12pm

If you have any questions or concerns about arriving late or leaving early, please contact us.

Belmont Abbey College
100 Belmont Mt Holly Rd
Belmont, NC 28012


Veterum Sapientia is intended for intermediate-level and advanced students of Latin. Intermediate-level students have generally completed at least two semesters of study in a college or seminary environment. Two full years or more are ideal. We will accommodate applicants at both levels on a space-available basis.


Contact us with any questions you may have using this form.

Program Description

Veterum Sapientia offers a unique, guided exploration of the most important categories of writing that make up the Church’s Latin patrimony, with exercises ordered toward helping participants grow in their understanding of the mechanics of the language and internalize new vocabulary through active use. Classes and related activities (e.g. meals, games, walks) will be conducted in Latin and in a combination of Latin and English, as appropriate to participants’ level of experience. Plenary class sessions and some small-group work will be devoted to reading and discussion of texts representing the major genera of Latin writing in the life of the Church: scriptural Latin, patristic Latin, liturgical Latin, scholastic Latin, ecclesiastical (curial) Latin, and Gregorian chant (hymns). In other small-group sessions, participants will be guided through active exercises in speaking and in simple writing, based on material from these representative texts.

Participants will work with instructors every day, experiencing a series of plenary and small-group class sessions for a minimum total of six hours of instruction daily. Common lunches, dinners, and evening recreational activities will also be provided, offering opportunities for informal conversations in Latin. All class sessions, common meals and recreation activities will be conducted on the campus of Belmont Abbey College near Charlotte, NC.


Tuition for Veterum Sapientia 2017 is $300 and is paid at registration. The price does not include lodging, meals or transportation to and from Belmont Abbey College. Full refunds (minus a $40 processing fee) are available until July 1. If you are interested in participating, but lack necessary funds, please contact us about the possibility of a scholarship.


Participants will be responsible for their own lodging.  Belmont Abbey College dorm rooms are available for $20/night.  Please contact us using this form if you are interested in staying in a dorm room or if you have any other questions about lodging.


Meals will be taken at Belmont Abbey College.  The cost per meal is as follows:
– Breakfast  $6.50
– Lunch $7.50
– Dinner $8.75


Conference Registration Form

Use this form to register and pay for the Veterum Sapientia Conference.

  • Veterum Sapientia is intended for priests, deacons, seminarians, religious. Please indicate which of the following describes you:
  • The Veterum Sapientia program is intended for people who have, at a minimum, completed introductory studies in Latin language and have had some contact with literature. Two semesters of Latin study in a college or seminary environment would typically constitute such minimum preparation, while two full years or more would be ideal. Please indicate below the highest level of classroom study you have attained.
  • Do you have any medical conditions, including dietary restrictions, we should know about which might affect your comfort or safety during the workshop? Please describe briefly.
  • Price: $300.00
  • American Express
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Conference Speakers

Rev. Roberto Spataro, S.D.B.

Fr Roberto Spataro was born in South-Italy and is Professor of Early Christian Literature at the Pontificium Institutum Altioris Latinitatis of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 as Secretary of the Pontifical Academy of Latin. His publications cover different areas, such as Patrology, Church History, Mariology. He supports the use of living Latin. He is a member of the Academia Latinitati Fovendae.

Dr. Nancy Llewellyn

Dr. Nancy Llewellyn is Associate Professor of Latin at Wyoming Catholic College. She holds a Ph.D. from UCLA, an M.A. from the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome (where she also studied at the Gregorian University with Reginald Foster), and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College. Since 1998, she has led numerous workshops on spoken Latin for students and teachers in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

Dr. Milena Minkova

Dr. Milena Minkova is Professor of Classics at the University of Kentucky, Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and Associate Director of the Institute for Latin Studies. She has worked on the whole continuity of the Latin tradition. Most recently, Minkova has published on the 12th century renaissance and its cosmologists Bernard Silvestris, Alan of Lille, and John of Hauvilla, on Latin composition, and on Latin pedagogy. Together with Terence Tunberg, she has co-authored “Latin for the New Millennium.” Currently, Minkova is working on a critical anthology of Neo-Latin.

Dr. John Pepino

Dr. John Pepino teaches Latin and Greek at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, the seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) in Nebraska, USA. He also teaches online Latin courses using Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina series. His own bilingual background (French and English) and boyhood in multilingual Europe predisposed him to a natural, oral/aural approach to Latin. His interests also include the decline of the living Latin culture in the Western Church as well as the means the Holy See advocates to recover it.

Rev. Kevin Zilverberg, SSL 

Fr. Zilverberg currently studies the Old Latin version of Daniel as part of a biblical research team in Madrid, Spain. He has served at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN as assistant professor and formation director. There he employed Latin as the sole language of instruction in an upper-level directed study. He has given many lectures in Latin for the Familia Sancti Hieronymi on diverse topics of Catholic interest. His biblical and Latin expertise converge in his study of the Old Latin, Vulgate and Neo-Vulgate versions of the Bible.