Categories: News Article

Catholic Institute of Technology: a New University that Will Blend Faith and Innovation in the Heart of the Church

Set in a beautiful villa in the scenic town of Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Catholic Institute of Technology is a brand new university founded on the vision of integrating cutting-edge scientific research and rapid technological advancement with the wisdom and tradition of the Catholic faith. In the fall of 2024, CatholicTech will open its doors to students seeking to become saints, scientists, scholars, and leaders in their fields.

CatholicTech was founded in the fall of 2023 by Bill and Alexis Haughey, along with Bishop Arther Kennedy, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, who serves as professor emeritus and University President. Together, the three, who all hail from Boston, came up with the idea of founding an authentically Catholic university, one that is wholly dedicated to educating its students with a theological and ethical foundation, particularly in the STEM fields, and to helping restore the Church’s longstanding history of being a leader in the faith and scientific contributions.

Alexis herself is an MIT engineering alumna, and is currently a PhD student in the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurial Strategy group at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Her background in academic research emphasizing technology and innovation, combined with Bill’s experience as an accomplished entrepreneur, with involvement in real estate, engineering, and construction consulting, equipped and inspired the couple to pursue this initiative to found a university that will form leaders in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

For Bill and Alexis, CatholicTech is a work of and for the Universal Church, and as such, it integrates a wide diversity of religious vocations and orders: the school has a partnership with the Jesuit community nearby, a relationship with the Vatican Observatory, and has on its staff a Norbertine friar, a Legionary of Christ and Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, and priests from North America, Europe, and Africa. The school itself was once a retreat center run by Opus Dei, who were integral in helping with the logistics of the purchase and transition of the school.

Situated in the picturesque Alban Hills near Rome and within walking distance of the Vatican Observatory, CatholicTech school expects to admit approximately 50 students each year. As an American university seeking American regional accreditation, all classes will be taught in English, with the exception of Italian and Latin.

Catholic Institute of Technology: a new university that will blend faith and innovation in the heart of the Church

And the mission of the school is clear: to integrate the wisdom of revelation with the truths that are discoverable to human reason, through a curriculum that incorporates the rigors of technical education with a moral and spiritual formation in the Catholic faith. To that end, CatholicTech hopes to form students who will be impactful leaders in their fields of scientific research and innovation, fully aligned with the teachings of the Catholic Church and informed by faith, reason, and virtue.

As such, the students, staff, and faculty sign an oath of fidelity to the Catholic Church. The school has also founded a research ethics committee that will ensure that any grants or monies brought into the school fall within the bounds and teachings of the Catholic faith, and that the research and projects done by the school work continually towards the human good. On this committee are leading figures within the tech and science world, including Fr. Paolo Benanti, expert on the ethics of technology and innovation management and currently serving on the Artificial Intelligence Task Force to assist the Agency for Digital Italy, and Fr. Philip Larrey, professor of philosophy at Boston College and leading A.I. ethicist who recently spoke at the United Nations.

Fr. Michael Baggot, LC, and Lílian Santos, Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi, both serve on the faculty of Philosophy and Theology for CatholicTech. Fr. Michael is a professor of theology and bioethics, and is currently a Research Scholar at the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, and a member of the Scholarly Advisory Board for Magisterium AI. Lílian Santos is a professor of philosophy and bioethics, as well as a Directive Board Member and a Research Scholar at UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights. Her areas of interest are Global Governance, Global Bioethics, Human Rights, Transhumanism, Emerging Technologies, and Integral Ecology.

Madeline Conover joined the CatholicTech team as Director of Admissions in the summer of 2023, and has been fortunate to be a part of the university’s dynamic beginnings. “It’s been an exciting year for Catholic Tech, and how beautifully things have come together is a testament to the fact that this is truly God’s will and the work of the Holy Spirit,” says Madeline.

“The exciting thing about starting an institution like this is that we have the energy of a tech start-up, with lots of room for innovation. For the students, this means they’ll be given the tools they need to succeed, as well as the runway space to be independent and creative, and what they bring to the school will shape the university, too.”


Although research and study is the primary focus of CatholicTech, students also enjoy a full campus life that includes social and cultural activities, as well as spiritual offerings like daily Mass, rosary, and Liturgy of the Hours, as well as weekly confession and adoration, men’s and women’s prayer groups, monthly Church history immersion trips throughout Italy, multi-day retreats, and the opportunity for pilgrimages throughout Europe and to the Holy Land.

And this is just the beginning for CatholicTech – there are plans to host high school science camps and develop summer programming in the near future, and to add more majors, including neuroscience, astrophysics, and nuclear science, as well as a Master’s program over the next few years. Ultimately, CatholicTech aspires to become an R1 research university – a doctrinal institution with the highest level of research activity of which there are only 200 universities worldwide – within the next 15 years.

The first admissions cycle closes April 15th, and full tuition scholarships are available. To find out more about CatholicTech, visit their website at