Pope Francis to meet with college students in virtual event hosted by Loyola University of Chicago

Pope Francis is expected to virtually meet with some college students next month for a conversation on pressing issues facing the Catholic Church and world.

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Pope Francis is expected to virtually meet with some Loyola students next month for a conversation on pressing issues facing the Catholic Church and world.

Pope Francis is expected to virtually meet with some Loyola students next month for a conversation on pressing issues facing the Catholic Church and world.

Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photos

Loyola University of Chicago will host a historic meeting next month between the head of the worldwide Catholic Church and college students.

Pope Francis is scheduled to virtually meet with college students from North, Central and South America on Feb. 24 to discuss a wide range of topics as part of the Catholic Church’s ongoing synodal process, outgoing Loyola president Jo Ann Rooney announced Wednesday in an email to students, faculty and staff.

Organized by Loyola’s Institute of Pastoral Studies, Department of Theology and the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic IntellectualHeritage, the event is believed to be the first of its kind between the pope and a U.S.-based university, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

Rooney said Loyola is “deeply honored” that Pope Francis — the first Jesuit and Latin American pope — picked it as the “inaugural space for dialogue in this historic outreach to university students around the world.”

“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,” Rooney wrote. “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.”

The pope’s conversation with the students — which will be livestreamed — will center on some of the most notable current issues facing the Catholic Church and world from communion and participation to migration and environmental concerns, according to Rooney. The students will share their perspectives and educational projects on immigration and environmental and economic justice, according to the Loyola’s website.

The dialogue is scheduled to start at noon. More details will be shared as the event approaches.

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