“To Cultivate and to Toil: On Profession and Vocation”

With Holy Mass and Eucharistic Procession Celebrated By
His Excellency Thomas Tobin, Bishop of Providence

What can I expect to experience?

The Portsmouth Institute invites you to experience the humanities at beautiful Portsmouth Abbey.

We are excited to offer an intimate, blended experience including a keynote lecture, panel, small-group seminar discussions, and of course, our signature Benedictine hospitality. In addition to keynote lectures and panels featuring leading Catholic voices, participants will examine important texts in the Catholic tradition during small-group seminars with expert teachers and scholars from Portsmouth Abbey School and Providence College. Each seminar will include around fifteen participants for a discussion of important texts. This dynamic environment will allow participants to —as the Portsmouth Abbey School mission statement says—”grow in knowledge and grace.”

The Humanitas Summer Symposium will offer a chance to discuss animating ideas pertaining to contemporary culture, and participate in Benedictine community life through hospitality, liturgy, and prayer. No academic expertise is required, simply a “love of learning and desire for God.” Gather with like-minded friends for a memorable weekend of learning, fellowship, and prayer.

Readings will be announced soon!

Schedule of Events


1:30 – 4:30 PM





Check In

Solemn Vespers and Benediction in the Abbey Church

Registration & Opening Reception

Dinner & Keynote Lecture

Evening Hospitality


7:20 AM

7:30 AM

8:30 AM

9:30 AM

10:45 AM

11:45 AM

12:45 pm







Holy Mass

Continental Breakfast

Plenary Lecture I

Breakout Discussions

Plenary Lecture II

Breakout Discussions


Plenary Lecture III

Breakout Discussions

Panel Discussion

Cocktails & Hors Doeuvres


Closing Reception


9:30 AM

Conventual Mass & Corpus Christi Procession Celebrated by Bishop Thomas Tobin

*Subject schedule to change.

Registration Information

The summer symposium registration fee is $595. The fee covers materials, meals, cocktail receptions, and all lectures and seminars over the weekend.

Click here to register.

Guest tickets are available at $125 per ticket for guests who would like to attend the evening receptions and programs but are not attending the seminars.

There are a limited number of scholarships available for teachers of Catholic schools, Benedictine oblates, graduate students, clergy, and religious; please contact us for details at institute@portsmouthabbey.org.   

Overnight Accommodations

Single Occupancy: $175/night | Double Occupancy: $225/night

Linens including sheets and pillow are provided. Please note that this is DORMITORY STYLE accommodations, with common bathrooms and dorm room furniture. If you prefer more comfortable accommodations, please see our hotel listing below.

If you choose to stay in the dormitories, we advise that you bring the following:

Shower Caddy
Toiletries and soap
Bathrobe and sandals (common bathrooms on each floor)

Holiday Inn (Middletown, RI)
Marriott Courtyard (Middletown, RI)
AirBnB (Aquidneck Island)

Summer Symposium Cancellation Policy: For a full refund of tuition fees, please cancel with at least three weeks advance notice from the event’s date. We reserve the right to substitute speakers and/or cancel part of or the entire event due to circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, our liability is limited to a prompt refund of the registration fee for the affected days.