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Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy

The Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy is one of the Roman Colleges of the Catholic Church. The academy is dedicated to training priests to serve in the diplomatic corps and the Secretariat of State of the Holy See. Despite its name, the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy is not one of the ten Pontifical Academies of the Holy See; the patron of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy is Saint Anthony the Great. The diplomatic service of the Holy See can be traced back to 325 AD when Pope Sylvester I sent legates to represent him at the First Council of Nicaea; the academy was created as the Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles in 1701 by Abbot Pietro Garagni, in close collaboration with Blessed Sebastian Valfrè of the Turin Oratory. The Academy was forced to close between 1798 and 1803, the first years of the French occupation of Rome. Located inside Palazzo Severoli on the Piazza della Minerva in central Rome, the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy trains Catholic priests sent by their bishop from different parts of the world to study ecclesiastical and international diplomacy in order that the alumni may be selected to serve in the Diplomatic posts of the Holy See—ultimately as a papal nuncio, or ambassador.

Many leaders of the church have been alumni of the academy, including Popes Clement XIII, Leo XII, Leo XIII, Benedict XV, Paul VI. Students spend four years at the academy. If the students that have been recruited have a J. C. D, their time at the PEA is shortened to two years. The courses are in diplomatic history and diplomatic writing and are considered not to be academic, but rather focus on the practical skills needed to serve as a diplomat. By the end of his studies, each student has to possess a working knowledge of at least two languages in addition to his mother tongue. Revised requirements for those who enter the Academy beginning in 2020/2021 include a year of pastoral work in a missionary context; the President of the academy is Archbishop Giampiero Gloder, an official in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See. He succeeded Archbishop Beniamino Stella on September 21, 2013, when Archbishop Stella was named by Pope Francis as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. A small number of diplomats represent the Holy See but have not been through the formal academic and practical training of the PEA.

Examples of these diplomats are Michael Louis Fitzgerald, Achille Glorieux, Silvano Maria Tomasi, Charles John Brown, Aldo Giordano, Paul-Mounged El-Hachem, Michael A. Blume, Alfred Xuereb. Global organisation of the Catholic Church Index of Vatican City-related articles Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy Presidents

Dodd Ford Bridge

The Dodd Ford Bridge is a bridge spanning the Blue Earth River about one mile southwest of Amboy, Minnesota in Blue Earth County, Minnesota. The bridge is a steel, pin-connected, nine-panel, Pratt-truss highway bridge. Constructed in 1901, it is among the state's earliest remaining examples of the overhead Pratt type; the bridge is significant for its association with Lawrence Henry Johnson, a prominent Minnesota bridge builder of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This bridge is one of only two authenticated surviving examples of Johnson's work. Although Amboy stood only about one-half mile east of the river, there was no nearby highway bridge. A road did enter Amboy from the west, but it crossed the river at a shallows known as Dodd Ford, an obstacle to vehicular traffic. In the fall of 1900 the Blue Earth County Board of Commissioners decided to have a bridge built at that location; the official county surveyor N. F. Brooks prepared the preliminary design documents; the local contracting firm of Carlstrom Brothers built the two stone piers.

At that time bridge building in Minnesota was dominated by six Minneapolis companies: Gilette Herzog Manufacturing Company, William S. Hewett and Company, Minneapolis Bridge and Iron Company, L. H. Johnson, M. A. Adams Bridge Company, Hewett Bridge Company. Although the last two firms did not bid on this project, the others did and their proposals were within a few hundred dollars of each other, ranging from $2948 by L. H. Johnson to $3320 by the Minneapolis Bridge and Iron Company; the contract went to L. H. Johnson; as the contractor, Johnson undoubtedly turned to an established bridge fabrications shop the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company, with which he had been associated earlier. Completion was required by June 1, 1901, he delivered the bridge on schedule for he was paid in full on June 6; the Dodd Ford Bridge is one of only two surviving bridges known to have been built by Johnson while he operated as a contractor under his own name. In its design and engineering it is a conventional, pin-connected, nine-panel, 148.5-foot-long, steel truss of the overhead Pratt variety.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this general type of truss was used throughout the United States for highway crossings of 90 to 150 feet in length. Reflecting the prevailing bridge-engineering practices of its time, this bridge has light construction by automobile-inspired standards; the bridge employs laced channel sections for vertical compression members, paired eyebars for horizontal tension members and lower chord members, angle sections for overhead sway bracing and portal bracing, crossed eyebars for top-lateral and bottom-lateral bracing. The bridge further evokes its period by virtue of its narrow 15-foot-wide roadway with a plank deck supported on wood stringers; such design was prohibited by the Minnesota Highway Commission. The Commission advocated a 16-foot minimum roadway, steel stringers, preferred a reinforced-concrete deck; the Dodd Ford Bridge survived for most of its life with minimal alterations. The Blue Earth County Highway Department repaired some cracking of the north abutment during the 1970s and reinforced, by welding and bracing, a few collision-damaged members of the east web during the 1980s.

In April 1993, the bridge suffered severe substructural damage when high water undermined a portion of the south abutment and swept away the southeast wing wall. The county closed the structure and made plans for its replacement; the bridge was closed to heavy traffic for thirty years before it was closed to all traffic in May 2009. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in December 2009; the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota placed it on its 2010 list of the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places. The Dodd Ford Bridge was rehabilitated, reopened to traffic the summer 2016. Since the original abutments were in poor condition, the truss, or metal, portion of the bridge was lifted off the original abutments and placed on temporary supports while the contractor rebuilt new abutments. New I-beams were placed on the new abutments and the historic truss was placed on top; the new supports will help the over 100-year-old bridge carry modern traffic loads, while maintaining its historic character.

Dodd Ford Bridge Historic American Engineering Record No. MN-73, "Dodd Ford Bridge, County Road 147 Spanning Blue Earth River, Amboy vicinity, Blue Earth County, MN"