Campus Ministry celebrates Pope Francis’ visit

News Editor

In celebration of Pope Francis’ first ever visit to the United States, Campus Ministry will host a screening of the papal address to Congress. 

The event, “Pope Watch”, will include free tacos, drinks and games is intended to get students to gather and interact with each other around the pope’s visit in a fun way, said the Rev. Peter Walsh. The event will be Thursday at 9 a.m. in Walsh Hall (Campus Ministry’s office).

“It’s not going to be a lecture, it’s going to be a fun exchange,” Walsh said of the screening. “We are celebrating the fact that he is coming to our country.”

This visit is especially significant because it will mark the first time that a pope addresses a joint session of Congress, according to Politico and several other news organizations.

“Popes don’t visit the U.S. very often,” Assistant Director of Campus Ministry Joshua Stagni said. “It makes sense for Campus Ministry to sponsor and host this.”

Stagni voiced the importance of the pope’s visit as an educational opportunity, echoing the sentiment of other members of campus ministry.

“[The pope’s visit] is significant on many levels,” Stagni said. “It’s part of the ‘outside the classroom’ education.”

Part of what makes Francis’ message especially distinct and relevant to young people is his relatability, said Walsh, who observed that the pope is taking an unconventional course, while remaining faithful to church doctrine.

“Since his election as pope, he has been re-framing the way we talk about things,” Walsh said of Francis, calling him the church’s “chief educator.”

Walsh, as well as other event coordinators, hope that there will be a significant turnout at the event not only because of Francis’ importance as the head of the church, but because his message is often directed at young people.

“He really is looking to the future and as he looks to the future he is looking to young people across the world,” Father Louis Brusatti said.

One of the topics the pope will likely touch on heavily in his address to Congress, according to Politico, is the environment.

“This is the one thing that we all seem to agree on: that we all need to take care of the planet,” Brusatti said.

Brusatti said that he hoped to host discussions in November to evaluate the impact the pope will have had after his visit to the U.S. He pointed to the pope’s unconventionality and ability to communicate as some of his greatest strengths.

“He’s just so authentic and he’s so honest with what he’s talking about,” Brusatti said.

Follow me at @viacavazos