Centrum Aletti Velehrad-Roma (CAVR) in Olomouc
During his visit to Velehrad, on the 24th of April 1990, Pope John Paul II appealed to the Church in the Czech Republic to revive the tradition of Saints Cyril and Methodius. In the same year, Bishop František Vaňák entrusted the Czech Province of the Jesuits with the Basilica in Velehrad.
Since 1991, there had already been a centre for research in Rome: Centro Ezio Aletti, connected with the Pontifical Oriental Institute. It was named for Dr. Anna Maria Grünhut Bartoletti Aletti, who donated the building - since then the seat of the Centre - to the Society of Jesus. The director is Fr. Marko Rupnik SJ, who is assisted by the sisters of the Community of the Divine Humanity, university professors. The spiritual thoughts and scientific research of Fr. Tomáš Špidlík SJ inspire the activities of the Centre, which are approved of and followed with interest by the Pope.
The first ecumenical meeting, organised by Centro Ezio Aletti, took place in Velehrad in 1991. The spiritual genius of Fr. Špidlík led the productive and enthusiastic meeting to the idea of founding a centre of the same identity in the Czech Republic.
While Fr. Pavel Ambros SJ was finishing his studies in Rome, he was requested to write the statutes of the new foundation, which afterwards were approved by Father General of the Jesuits. Centrum Aletti Velehrad-Roma is defined as a cultural centre of the Czech Jesuit Province. It draws its inspiration from three sources: its affiliation with the centre in Rome, the spiritual inheritance of F. Špidlík and the universal message of Velehrad - Velehrad, because it represents in the Czech Church fundamental values which extend to the political, cultural and theological level.
Scope of CAVR
- to promote the study of current topics from a spiritual and cultural point of view
- to contribute to the unity of Europe
- through active participation in the dialogue between faith and culture, inspired by the synthesis of spiritual life in the Christian East and West
- through respect for the faith and rites of everyone
- to support personal and spiritual growth.
Services of CAVR
- library with a capacity of 100 000 titles, 40 000 of which have already been registered;
- the chair of Eastern Christian spirituality, a place for research and intereligious dialogue; it belongs to Palacky University;
- the publishing house Refugium specializes in Czech translation of the books of Fr. Špidlík, of Centro Ezio Aletti, of classic Russian philosophers and theologians, of the Christian East, of current topics on ecumenism and culture, and of matters concerning the Jesuits;
- Studio Velehrad-Roma shows films for a small public, produces films of artistic value and is available for conferences;
- the spiritual formation of lay-people, the religious and priests through personal spiritual guidance, retreats and conferences;
- pastoral activities for university students, connected with the church Our Lady of the Snows in Olomouc.
Members of CAVR-team
Prof. Pavel Ambros SJ, ThD., the director
Michal Altrichter SJ, ThD.
s. Luisa Karczubová, Mgr.
s. Diane Kets, ThD.