Loyola University Chicago will host a historic event involving Pope Francis as he reaches out directly in dialogue with young people across the Americas, facilitated by university faculty. A statement was released this week by Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney:
“Building Bridges: A Synodal Encounter Between Pope Francis and University Students” is a direct conversation between the Pope and university students from North, Central, and South America, including some from Loyola. The Pope and the students will address salient issues facing the Church and the world in our times—communion and participation, migration, and care for the planet. Hosted by the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS), the Department of Theology, and the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, the real-time virtual conversation will take place Thursday, February 24 at 12 p.m. US Central time.
“The University community will have the opportunity to listen to the conversation between Pope Francis and these young people in a live stream. There will be more details on the event in the coming days, but one can get a sense of its energy from Francis’ invitational words regarding this synod: “Dear brothers and sisters, may this Synod be a true season of the Spirit! For we need the Spirit, the ever-new breath of God, who sets us free from every form of self-absorption, revives what is moribund, loosens shackles and spreads joy.”
“This collaboration with Pope Francis arises from the distinguished work of faculty in IPS, the Department of Theology, and the Hank Center. Their scholarship and leadership have positioned Loyola as an international center of Catholic thought and discourse. We are proud of their dedicated work in our Jesuit, Catholic mission, and they exemplify the work faculty across our University who, day in and day out, are called to advance academic excellence and foster deep listening, discourse, and reflection—qualities that sustain a vigorous and authentic exchange of ideas and perspectives.
“Loyola is deeply honored that the Holy Father, the first Jesuit, and Latin American Pope, has chosen our University as the inaugural space for dialogue in this historic outreach to university students around the world. We look forward to an energetic and inspiring global conversation and are humbled to play a small part in the journey.”
Loyola University Chicago (Loyola or LUC) is a private Jesuit research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1870 by the Society of Jesus, Loyola is one of the largest Catholic universities in the United States. Its namesake is Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Loyola’s professional schools include programs in medicine, nursing, and health sciences anchored by the Loyola University Medical Center. It is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity”.