DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > DePaul to host virtual dialogue between Pope Francis and African university students
By Mary Hansen /
October 24, 2022 /
Posted in: CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY /
DePaul University is supporting "Building Bridges Across Africa: A Synodal Encounter Between Pope Francis and University Students," a virtual dialogue Nov. 1 that will feature students from DePaul and more than a dozen African universities.
"We're thrilled to support an opportunity for university students to speak with the pope about the church and contemporary issues," says DePaul President Robert L. Manuel. "As a Catholic, Vincentian university, we place high value on engaging in cross-cultural dialogue to cultivate understanding and strengthen global connections around the world. We're proud of the extensive experience our faculty have in facilitating global conversations like this one."
The Zoom discussion will focus on the theme "Ubuntu: A Culture of Encounter; We All Belong." The DePaul community is invited to listen to the webinar, which will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Information about how to log in is available on the
Global Engagement website .
DePaul has convened dozens of
Global Conversations, in which students and faculty from institutions in different countries engage in a guided, online dialogue on various topics.
Fr. Stan Chu Ilo, a professor with the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology and a member of Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network, is helping to coordinate the Nov. 1 event. The dialogue builds on the success of a February conversation between Pope Francis and university students from across the Americas. Insights from both discussions will inform and influence the Synod of Bishops, a consultation and listening process undertaken by the pope on the life of the Catholic Church.
"We believe that this is the time for a synodal church, and we support the synodal process the pope is promoting globally," Ilo says. "In this context, we are proud to host this historic encounter between the pope and university students from Africa. The hope is that this back-and-forth momentum will generate some interest on the themes emerging from the lived experiences of African young people and their unique context and daily joys, sorrows and dreams."
Partners in this effort include DePaul's Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network, the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication, the General Secretariat of the Synod, Pontifical Commission for Latin America and Loyola University of Chicago.