First Year Anniversary for Pope Francis I
This week marks the historic one-year anniversary of the election of a Jesuit pope. Offering their perspectives on Pope Francis and his great impact are Fairfield University President The Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. and Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., director of Fairfield University’s Center for Catholic Studies and The Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies.
The Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., president of Fairfield University: “Fairfield University rejoices in the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis’ election. His tenure has already worked a revolution in perceptions of the Church both among Catholics and non-Catholics on our campus. I cannot tell you how many of our faculty, staff and students have told me of the positive impact of Pope Francis has had on their own engagement with the Church and our mission and identity as a Jesuit and Catholic university.”
Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., director of Fairfield University’s Center for Catholic Studies and The Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies: “A year into his papacy, Pope Francis has raised the hopes of countless people, Catholics and others, for new ethical and religious leadership. Pope Francis leads with his heart, both catching the imagination of the world and challenging Catholics to re-order our priorities, to abandon judgment and narrow-mindedness in exchange for openness, grace and especially concern to place the world’s poor at the center of both the secular and religious visions of our future. He is, he says, ‘just a normal man,’ but he is creating extraordinary opportunities for change. Most of us, if not exactly all, are cheering him on.”