Papal Visit Concludes

September 26, 2015


BUFFALO, NY – Pope Francis returned to the Vatican on Monday, September 28 following a 10-day visit to North America. The 78-year old pontiff spent six days in the United States with itineraries in Washington D.C., New York City and Philadelphia. Members of the Canisius community followed and, in some instances, were fortunate enough to participate in the Pope’s historic visit.

Christopher Gates ’16, editor-in-chief for The Griffin, along with Kyle Ferrara ’16, a features editor for the student newspaper, received credentials to cover the Mass of the Canonization of Juniper Serra celebrated on September 23 in Washington, D.C. The Mass celebrated Father Juníper Serra, who became the first Hispanic Saint recognized by the Church – and the first saint to be canonized on U.S. soil.

Gates and Ferrara were among nearly 8,000 individuals from thousands of media outlets around the world who applied and received credentials to cover the Pope’s visit. An anchor from the local TV station WIVB-TV, Channel 4 caught up with the Canisius students while in Washington. You can see their interview here.

Click here to read the story they published for The Griffin.  

Canisius alumnus Kevin Field ’08 was among the select few who served Pope Francis at the Canonization Mass. Field is a seminarian at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. He reflects on his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in this article published on the Mount St. Mary’s Seminary website.

Back on campus, the Canisius community gathered September 23 for “Reflections on Pope Francis’ Visit and Encyclical.” The panel discussion featured faculty members from diverse disciplines and programs who addressed the significance of the Pope’s encyclical and how the Canisius community can respond to the pontiff’s call for action. Rev. Michael F. Tunney, SJ, director of mission and identity, moderated the panel.

On Thursday, September 24, members of the Canisius community crowded the Chester HON ’01 & Diane Stranczek Science Hall commons for the college’s Pope Watch Party. Hosted by the Office of Campus Ministry, the gathering attracted nearly 200 faculty, staff and students who came to hear and reflect on Pope Francis’ address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress.

Several local media outlets covered the event. Click the following links to view all media coverage:

Time Warner News

WKBW-TV, Channel 7

WBFO 88.7

Pope Francis’ U.S. visit culminated in Philadelphia, with a Papal Mass to mark the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families. Ten Canisius students made the whirlwind trip to the City of Brotherly Love.

The group departed for their journey on Friday, September 25, along with Campus Ministry Director Mike Hayes and Rev. James M. Pribek, SJ, associate professor of English. Prior to leaving, President John J. Hurley joined the Canisius contingent in a group prayer. Local television channels 2, 7 and Time Warner Cable News covered the send off.

Watch Time Warner’s coverage here.

St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia hosted the Canisius group during its brief stay. Since the public transportation system was shut down for security, students walked five miles to Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the site for the Pope’s outdoor Mass. After standing in a security line for more than three hours, the group watched the Papal Mass on a nearby large-screen TV.

Local TV anchor Jeff Russo, from WKBW-TV, Channel 7, met up with the Canisius contingent in Philadelphia. Click here to watch the coverage.

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private college in Western New York.