On Friday, March 24, the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, visited the Cittadella della Pace in Rondine, Arezzo, for a first meeting with President and founder Franco Vaccari and the international student community.

After a tour of the ancient village led by the international students of the World House campus together with colleagues of the Mediterranean Frontier of Peace, Education and Reconciliation project, the Ambassador spent some time with the students before lunch for an open dialogue on the issues of peace, his transition from longtime politician to diplomat and, finally, on current geopolitical scenarios, which see both the United States and the Vatican at the center of international dynamics.

For Ambassador Donnelly, the visit was also an opportunity to learn about other projects of the association and especially the Mediterranean Frontier of Peace project supported by the Italian Conference of Bishops (CEI), the Quarto Anno project, aimed instead at young Italians, who will carry out their fourth year of high school precisely in Rondine, and finally Rondine Academy, through which Rondine spreads its innovative methodology to institutions and organizations in Italy and abroad, in addition to Rondine’s international actions such as the global “Leaders for Peace” campaign promoted in the context of the United Nations by World House students.

At the end of the visit, the Ambassador said that I admire the values and goals of Rondine, which I had the pleasure of visiting for the first time; Rondine’s work with the youth of the world is a very important work, towards a promotion of dialogue beyond the difficulties of conflicts,” the Ambassador continued, “ one of my mentors in the early years of my political career s told me ‘do the right thing, not the easy one,’ and I see today in Rondine and its students that same approach.

That of the U.S. Ambassador, who wanted to stop for lunch with our students, is a historic visit of great importance,said Rondine President Franco Vaccari, “particularly in light of the historical moment and the rekindling, now more than ever, of ancient international rusts, with respect to which Rondine stands on the path of dialogue, of the search for peace, even with creative solutions as long as they are based on dialogue, and we will also talk about this in the United States at the end of the year at the launch of our new project.

The meeting with Ambassador Donnelly concluded with President Vaccari’s wish that “this will be the continuation of a long history of friendship with the United States.” In fact, at the end of the year a delegation from Rondine will return to visit New York and the United Nations for the final event of the Leaders for Peace global campaign at which the association’s upcoming international projects will be presented.