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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

One year later

Photo by Luke Malanga, ’20

Campus celebrates anniversary of historic papal visit

Tuesday, Sept. 27 marked the one year anniversary of Pope Francis’ visit to Saint Joseph’s University campus.

To celebrate this historic event, Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society for Jesuit colleges and universities on Saint Joseph’s campus, sponsored events in order to remember and celebrate the papal visit.

“We knew that we had to celebrate this anniversary in a special way because it still means so much to our campus,” said Natalie Roche, ’17, president of Alpha Sigma Nu.

The 12:20 p.m. mass in the Chapel of Saint Joseph was held for the intentions of Pope Francis.

Additionally, members of the St. Joe’s community gathered at the chapel, where Pope Francis blessed the “Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time” sculpture, for readings from Alpha Sigma Nu officers, a refection from University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., and music from the chapel choir.

Photo by Luke Malanga, '20
Photo by Luke Malanga, ’20

“What we are trying to do is focus on the idea that we were inspired both by what he [Pope Francis] did and what he said,” explained Dan Joyce, S.J., ’88, executive director of Mission Programs.

The readings, chosen by Alpha Sigma Nu, were all excerpts from the six different addresses that Pope Francis gave in his visit to Philadelphia last September.

“We feel like it is something that should be celebrated in addition to celebrating him coming to campus,” said Emily Houston, M.S., ’17. “We should celebrate what he stands for, and that’s why we are quoting excerpts from the different addresses he gave while he was here, to really remember all the wonderful things he says and continue his mission in our own way on campus.”

Students were also able to become involved in the anniversary of the papal visit by signing a banner, which along with a letter, will be sent, to the Vatican as a “thank you” to Pope Francis.

“We are going to write Pope Francis’s famous saying, ‘I pray for you as you pray for me,’ and we are going to have people be able to write their memories from that day, if they were there, [and] what they like about Pope Francis,” Houston added.

Joyce and Houston both expressed hope that celebrations like this would take place in the future as well.

“So many of our students participated in the different events of the pope’s visit, why not let that be an inspiration for us?” Joyce asked.

Joyce noted that these events are not the only way St. Joe’s is able to celebrate the papal visit.

“We already have, over in the McGuire Wolfngton center, [which is] in Admissions [Bronstein Hall], kind of plaques that memorialize the visits of previous popes to that building, when it was the cardinal’s residence,” Joyce said.

Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict are some of the previous popes to visit the Philadelphia area.

“It is important to celebrate this anniversary because we are a campus filled with students living out Jesuit ideals each and every day,” Roche said. “Pope Francis not only blessed the ‘Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time’ statue a year ago…but he also blessed each and every one of us that day. It was a moment that the members of Saint Joseph’s University will carry in our hearts forever.”

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