Catholic Culture Immersion Experiences

Duc in Altum

Catholic Culture Immersion Experiences

Jesus said to Peter: “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4). Although Peter had been fishing all night without success, he was obedient: he steered his ship toward deep waters, cast his net, and received a harvest of fish so great that it threatened to overwhelm the boats. Thus began Peter’s life as a disciple. Duc in altum, “put out into the deep” – these are words of bold encouragement and confident hopefulness.

In that spirit, the Humanities Program invites Providence College students to participate in our Duc in Altum Catholic culture immersion experiences. Through these experiences, you will steer toward “the deep,” toward places of profound spiritual, intellectual, and cultural significance, to receive once more from God’s abundant generosity.

Duc in altum! These words ring out for us today, and they invite us to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future with confidence.

St. John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte (2001)

Duc in Altum experiences will introduce you to the Catholic intellectual and cultural tradition through immersion in the ideas, history, culture, and locations of this tradition. Imagine spending two weeks in Krakow, Poland, studying the lives and writings of John Paul II, Faustina Kowalska, and Maximilian Kolbe; or two weeks in Oxford, England, studying C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and John Henry Newman. You might travel to Catholic Mexico City to encounter Our Lady of Guadalupe, or join thousands of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.


What to Expect

Duc in Altum experiences emphasize four core elements:

Daily study and conversation,

centered on texts, works of art, or music with a special connection to the places we are visiting (you might read and discuss C. S. Lewis’s The Four Loves in “The Eagle and the Child,” the Oxford pub where Lewis, Tolkien, and the other “Inklings” met regularly to converse and read one another’s writing).

Regular prayer and reflection,

often in places of special importance in Catholic history (imagine praying the divine office – and singing “Lead Kindly Light,” composed by Newman – at Littlemore, where John Henry Newman was received into the Church).

Fellowship and friendship,

the hope of all young people, receives special depth and significance when a group is bound together closely for travel, study, prayer, and exploration, focused especially on shared meals and recreation (perhaps you will share an evening meal on the hillside of the Uffington White Horse, a few miles outside of Oxford and the inspiration for G. K. Chesterton’s great Marian poem The Ballad of the White Horse).

Walking in the steps of the saints,

the desire of all pilgrims, is the context for the study, conversation, prayer, reflection, and fellowship of the Duc in Altum immersion experiences. Catholicism is a religion of place, and of the senses, and students who pray where Newman prayed, or stand where Thomas Becket stood when he was martyred, thereby join themselves to the communion of saints and the universal church in a special and profound way.

It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do what we did. To study a beloved author where he wrote, and to appreciate the things that he appreciated where he appreciated them… It seemed to accomplish all that the Humanities Program at PC is trying to accomplish, which was to grow in experiences that lead us to the truth with other members of the PC community. My scope on the good, the true, and the beautiful is truly expanded after this trip.

Surprised by Joy: C. S. Lewis’s Oxford (2023)

Upcoming Duc in Altum Experiences

Surprised by Joy (Oxford, England; Spring Break, 2025; includes college credit)

Join Fr. Dominic Verner and accompanying faculty members for an in depth consideration of the life, writings, friends, and communal life of C. S. Lewis, one of the greatest Christian apologists of our time. Explore Oxford, the home of Oxford University, J. R. R. Tolkien, St. John Henry Newman, and the Inklings. Read some of Lewis’s and Tolkien’s greatest stories and essays together at Blackfriars Hall, the home of the English Dominicans of Oxford. Limited fellowships for students are available. Part of the the C. S. Lewis Fellowship at Providence College. For more information contact Fr. Isaac Morales, Associate Professor of Theology. Applications are due in the fall of 2024 and are submitted through the PC study abroad website.


Christ in the Desert (Moab Desert, Utah; Spring Break, 2025; includes college credit)

Led by Fr. Brendan Baron, Dr. Gary Culpepper, and Dr. Patrick Macfarlane, Christ in the Desert emphasizes leadership development within the spiritual and intellectual context of the Catholic and Dominican tradition. Participants will travel to the Moab Desert in Utah where they will learn outdoor skills, including kayaking and canyoneering, within the context of Lenten spiritual and intellectual reflection and professional leadership development exercises. Hosted by COR Expeditions. Open by invitation only. For more information, contact Dr. Raymond Hain, Associate Director of the Humanities Program.


Verso l’Alto (Wind River Mountains, Wyoming; August, 2025; includes college credit)

Led by Fr. Justin Bolger and Dr. Raymond Hain, Verso l’Alto (“To the Heights”) is for rising seniors and emphasizes leadership development within the spiritual and intellectual context of the Catholic and Dominican tradition. Participants will travel to the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming where they will learn outdoor skills, including unsupported backpacking, within the context of spiritual and intellectual reflection and professional leadership development exercises. Part of the Humanities Program’s Duc in Altum initiative. Hosted by COR Expeditions. Open by invitation only. For more information, contact Dr. Raymond Hain, Associate Director of the Humanities Program.