While this year’s Pallium Lecture may have a slightly different look, Archdiocese of Milwaukee Director of Community Relations Lydia LoCoco said it really isn’t a departure from previous years.

To be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Brookfield Conference Center, the Pallium Lecture will feature noted art historian Dr. Elizabeth Lev using the giant screens for a visual presentation on Catholic art and beauty.

“It’s still a lecture with the addition of stunning images,” LoCoco said.

Lev’s experience studying and teaching art has led her to believe that when we encounter something beautiful, we are made vulnerable and opened to the truth.

As an art historian, Lev became captivated by Rome while completing her graduate studies. She writes and lectures on Renaissance art in the Eternal City, but is most at home in the Vatican Museums, founded in the 16th century to house the trove of art amassed by centuries of popes. She has spent 15 years studying the vast collection, which contain not only Christian-themed works, but art from virtually every other culture in the world.

A transplanted U.S. art historian with degrees from University of Chicago and University of Bologna, Lev has been working as a guide in Rome for more than 20 years. She currently teaches at Duquesne University’s Italian campus, as well as at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. She loves Rome, its history, art, cuisine and people, but is happiest in its many churches and museums.

Lev has served as a commissioner of the tourism board of Rome and a didactic consultant for the Vatican Museums. She is also the author of four books and has commented on art and the papacy for several television networks. She has taught and lectured in numerous venues in Europe, the U.S., Singapore and Australia, including an address at the United Nations in New York. Recent projects include a series of columns for the Epoch Times on the light of art throughout dark times in history, and she regularly consults with the Vatican Museums and wrote the film “Vatican Treasures.” She also wrote “A Body for Glory,” examining how the papal collection of Greco-Roman nudes grew into the Sistine Chapel.

“She’s very accessible,” LoCoco said. “She talks like a normal person, but she draws you in.”

Featuring Lev is part of LoCoco’s mission to present events that will help cultivate Catholic culture, showing the deep richness of the Church and its intellectual heritage.

“We want to cultivate Catholic culture, because we’re speaking to a world that maybe doesn’t want to come to liturgies and who have no doctrinal formation, so how are people hearing the message,” LoCoco said. “Young people want that Catholic culture that we might have grown up with but they don’t have.”

LoCoco, who said about 1,000 people had registered for the event by mid-January, expects it to be at its 1,500 capacity soon, so she recommends registering as soon as possible.

The event is free and open to the public, but attendees must register at archmil.regfox.com/pallium-lecture-2024.

The evening will begin with a prelude to evening prayer by the Schola Cantorum of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary under the direction of Dr. Agnieszka Kosmecka. Evening prayer will be led by Fr. Brad Krawcyzk, the Director of Worship and Liturgical Formation at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary.

For those looking for a sneak peek at what Lev will be discussing, she will be a guest on Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki’s “Living Our Faith” show on Relevant Radio (100.1 FM/1640 AM), at 8 a.m. either Friday, Jan. 26, or Friday, Feb. 2.

2024 Pallium Lecture

When: Thursday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m.

Where: Brookfield Conference Center, 325 S. Moorland Road, Brookfield

Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Lev, art historian, author and tour guide

Topic: How Catholic Art Saved the Faith — The Triumph of Beauty and Truth

Cost: The event is free, but registration is required at archmil.regfox.com/pallium-lecture-2024

Dr. Elizabeth Lev