Santa Clara University Students to Participate in Historic Video Conference with Pope Francis
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 22, 2022–Three Santa Clara University students will participate in a historic video conference this Thursday with His Holiness Pope Francis. They will discuss issues of importance to the Catholic Church and the world, including communion, migration, and care for our planet.
The students are
- Lorena Delgado-Márquez, a senior majoring in sociology, religious studies, ethnic studies, and Spanish, and minoring in Latin American studies and women’s and gender studies
- Antonio Amore Rojas, a junior majoring in management and environmental studies
- Marco Tulio Martínez Salazar, S.J., a Jesuit priest of the Central American Province and a doctoral candidate in sacred theology from Santa Clara’s Jesuit School of Theology (JST).
The event, entitled “Building Bridges North-South: A Synodal Encounter between Pope Francis and University Students,” will take place on February 24 at 10 a.m. Pacific. It brings together a group of 100 university students from North, Central, and South America to discuss issues facing the Church and our world. Delgado-Marquez has been chosen to be among a small number of students who will share the group’s insights directly with Pope Francis during the livestream.
The gathering is part of a larger “universal synod” currently underway, in which Pope Francis and the world’s bishops are consulting widely with people of God—including young people— to discern what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church, particularly regarding those who are most marginalized.
“I am very happy and proud that Santa Clara University is participating in the most extensive consultation of the Christian faithful in the Church’s history,” said Joseph G. Mueller, S.J., dean of the Jesuit School of Theology at SCU. “I hope that this meeting with Pope Francis will help all the participants to follow together the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the Church.”
To prepare for the meeting with Pope Francis, the students—most of whom are migrants or from migrant families—have met beforehand, virtually, in seven regional groups. Each group has composed a list of questions, and representatives from each group will share these questions during the video call, which will include Pope Francis participating from the Vatican.
“I am very excited to be participating in this initiative because it has been a great opportunity to learn, grow, and network with young adults that are equally as passionate about their faith and justice work as I am,” says Delgado-Márquez. “I am a strong believer that through kinship, solidarity, and radical compassion, diversity can be celebrated and welcomed. No person should ever feel alienated or be marginalized because of their migration status.”
The event will be translated live in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, and several universities, including SCU, are hosting in-person watch parties for the call. To watch the livestream, viewers can register at the website of Loyola University Chicago: https://www.luc.edu/popefrancis/.
“I feel very proud and honored to be a part of such a distinguished group of students,” said Rojas, who was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and raised in Mexico City. “Everyone in our group has a clear passion for social justice and changing the world for the better, and I have learned so much from them already. We hope to talk with Pope Francis about the underlying challenges that force refugees and migrants to leave their nations, and also the new challenges they encounter after they have migrated.”
For Martinez Salazar, a Jesuit from Guatemala in his first year of a doctoral program in theology at the JST, the event will be both an historical experience and a spiritual moment that he never would have expected in his life.
“Here in the USA, we, as Catholics, should pay attention to the issue of migration, which is now a global phenomenon,” said Martinez Salazar. “We must ask ourselves ‘What can we as Jesuit and Catholic universities do for the migrants in our country and our world?’”
About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see www.scu.edu.
Elliot Zanger | SCU Communications | firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb 22, 2022
Building Bridges: A Synodal Encounter between Pope Francis and University Students. February 24, 2022 at 12 PM, CST.