President Guest of Congress for Pope's Address, then on MSNBC
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President Guest of Congress for Pope's Address, then on MSNBC

University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., has been asked to be present in Congress to hear Pope Francis’s address to lawmakers on Sept. 24. Fr. von Arx was asked to attend the historic event in Washington, D.C. by Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes (D-4th District).

This is the first-ever papal address to Congress. Pope Francis is likely to address issues including the marginalization of the world’s poor, the social implications of consumerism and climate change. Seating for this event is coveted and extremely limited.

"I'm thrilled to be able to hear Pope Francis' address to Congress, and grateful to Congressman Himes for inviting me," said Fr. von Arx. "The fact that the Pope is a fellow Jesuit makes the occasion all the more special for me. I'm sure the Pope will have a message for the American people through their elected representatives that will be both challenging and inspirational, and I know that Congressman Himes looks forward to hearing that message as much as I do."

"I've worked with Rev. von Arx for many years. His important role as a leader in both the educational and religious communities in the 4th District, and the fact that he began his academic career teaching at Georgetown, made him a natural choice for this visit. I'm greatly looking forward to the event and am eager to continue working with Rev. von Arx, Fairfield University and the members of the Catholic community to further improve southern Connecticut."

As of Thursday of this week, plans were underway for Fr. von Arx to appear on MSNBC for commentary following the Pope's address. More details will be available when those plans are finalized.

The Fairfield University community is invited to participate in this historic event from campus. A program entitled "Papal Politics: Pope Francis Speaks to Congress-Live" will be held on Thursday, September 24 from 9–10:30 a.m. in the Lower Level BCC. This event will provide an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to watch the speech in community. It will be followed by a facilitated discussion about the speech and its implications for U.S. politics, especially in light of the impending presidential election in 2016. Light breakfast fare will be provided.

Please visit fairfield.edu/leaders for more information.

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Last modified: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 14:54:49 EDT

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