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Saint Anselm College Celebrates Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit

September 29, 2015

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

A group of Saint Anselm College community members traveled to Philadelphia to hear Pope Francis' MassLast week, Sept. 21-25, the Saint Anselm College community watched as Pope Francis traveled from Washington D.C., to New York City, N.Y., to Philadelphia, Pa. Anselmians enthusiastically engaged with the visit, holding watch parties, discussing his messages, and several even traveled to Philadelphia on Sunday for Mass on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

"His message is one that people are interested to hear," said Director of Campus Ministry, Sue Gabert. "There'll be a lot of people who might not agree with him but they're curious to listen. The fact that he's so invitational that they want to listen is exciting."

Here are Last Week's Highlights

President DiSalvo Attends Mass
On Wednesday, September 23, Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, college president, attended Pope Francis' Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. A guest of U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, (R-NH), DiSalvo said he was inspired to hear the Pontifex.

"Having spent my career in Catholic higher education, I feel particularly blessed to have attended this Mass. Hearing in person the words of Pope Francis, which provide inspiration every day to Catholics around the world, was incredibly moving," said Dr. DiSalvo. "I was proud to represent the thousands of alumni, students, faculty and staff members of Saint Anselm College who find comfort and grace in faith, and in service to humanity in keeping with that faith, every day."

Watching Pope Francis Address Congress
On Thursday, as the Pope addressed Congress, faculty, staff, and students gathered across campus to watch. In addition to watch parties in the coffee shop and New Hampshire Institute of Politics' (NHIOP) Common Ground Cafe, students watched in Professor Joshua Snyder's theology class and in the Office of Campus Ministry. Later in the day, Campus Ministry and the NHIOP co-sponsored a second viewing of the address followed by a discussion with Professors Jennifer Lucas (politics) and Joshua Snyder (theology). The theology colloquium then held a second discussion on the address on Friday morning for those who missed Thursday's event.

Gabert watched the address from her office and was struck by Pope Francis.

"His words were powerful because the Gospel doesn't fit into political categories or ideologies," she said. "It was nice to see a positive response to his message."

Anselmians Head to Philadelphia
On Sunday a group of 54 students, faculty, and staff traveled to Philadelphia to watch the 4 p.m. Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

"Just being at a Mass led by our shepherd the Holy Father, with 1.5 million others - singing hymns, praying the our father, exchanging the sign of peace. It was so moving," said Gabert.

The short trip, spanning only 24 hours, resembled a modern day pilgrimage. Led by Gabert and the Office of Campus Ministry, the group made their way to the center of the city where they watched the Mass on a screen. Just a few blocks from the parkway, they were still within earshot of the Pope and the choir. Celebrating the beauty of the Mass with each other and so many others proved a rich experience for all involved.

"Holding hands while singing the Our Father was one of the most moving experiences of the entire trip," said Kayla Patten '17.

Faculty Comment on the Pope's Visit
Theology professor Dan Daly was in the news and on the radio this week discussing the Pope's visit.

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