Blue & Gold Briefs

Canisius Celebrates Papal Visit

BUFFALO, NY - Pope Francis’ recent visit to North America is a memory that won’t soon be forgotten by members of the Canisius community. The pontiff spent six days in the U.S. with itineraries in Washington D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. Canisius students, faculty and staff followed and – in some instances – participated in the Pope’s historic visit.

Christopher Gates ’16, editor-in-chief of The Griffin, and Kyle Ferrara ’16, the features editor, covered the Mass of the Canonization of Juniper Serra in Washington, D.C. The Canisius students were among nearly 8,000 reporters, from media outlets around the world, who applied for and received credentials to cover the Pope’s visit.

Also representing Canisius was Kevin Field ’08. The alumnus had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve alongside Pope Francis during the Canonization Mass. Field is a seminarian at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD.

Pope Francis’ U.S. visit concluded with an outdoor Mass in Philadelphia. Ten Canisius students traveled to the city with Campus Ministry Director Mike Hayes and Associate Professor of English, Rev. James M. Pribek, SJ. Once in Philly, the group walked five miles to Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the site of the Papal Mass, which they watched on a nearby large-screen TV. During Mass, Father Pribek offered communion to the small contingent of Canisius students.

Back on campus, the college hosted a “Pope Watch Party,” for members of the Canisius community who wanted to hear Pope Francis’ address before the U.S. Congress. Professors also organized “Reflections on Pope Francis’ Visit and Encyclical.” The panel discussion addressed ways in which Canisius can respond to the pontiff’s call for action.

In spring 2015, Canisius will introduce a new All-College Honors seminar entitled Pope Francis and 21st Thinking. Father Pribek will instruct the course.