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Chestnut Hill College to Celebrate Visit of Pope Francis and Mission & Legacy Week

Chestnut Hill College to Celebrate Visit of Pope Francis and Mission & Legacy Week

Love is Our Mission: Chestnut Hill College
CHC adopting World Meeting of Families "Love is our Mission" as the theme of its annual Mission and Legacy Week.

In honor of the World Meeting of Families and the visit of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to the city of Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill College will be marking this historic and spiritual event through numerous celebrations, including most especially its annual Mission and Legacy Week.

Preparations for Pope Francis’ visit begin with an Opening Liturgy in the Main Chapel of Kieran Hall at 2 p.m. on September 9. As part of this Mass, the College will dedicate papal portraits of St. Pope John XXIII and Pope Francis, which will join the College’s portrait of St. Pope John Paul II as a testament to the Catholic tradition and foundations of the College.

The following day, on September 10, the College will kick off its involvement in the Campaign for Mercy and Justice’s advocacy and public witness projects through a letter-writing campaign to Congress advocating for an end to poverty in keeping with Pope Francis’ call to mercy and justice. The College will also be participating in the Mary Undoer of Knots public art project, a special effort in honor of the pope’s favorite devotion to Mary by signifying the burdens each person carries on strips of fabric tied onto lattices in a downtown art display.

On September 16,  Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS, will offer a lecture titled, “The Message of Pope Francis” at 4 p.m. in Gruber Theater. This lecture and multimedia presentation, including Brother Mickey’s art, will offer a chance to reflect on the pontiff’s message of Hope and Joy, with a special focus on Pope Francis’ call to young people.

As the World Meeting of Families begins, so will the College’s Mission and Legacy Week, which runs from September 23 through September 30. This annual event, designed to celebrate the College’s heritage as a sponsored work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia, will draw on the theme of active, inclusive love as emphasized by both Pope Francis and the charism of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

“It is a great honor for Philadelphia to have been chosen from among all the major cities in the world to host a meeting that has such high international significance. It is a time for great celebration and joy as we welcome our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to our city,” says Chestnut Hill College President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D. 

Sister Carol invites the entire College community to participate in as many events as possible as “witness to our commitment to the message of Pope Francis to tend with love, compassion and justice to the unmet needs of the global family.”

Throughout the week, Chestnut Hill College will be engaged with the World of Meeting of Families and papal visit through on-campus presentations, communal gatherings, and involvement in various service projects. In direct connection to the events downtown, students and faculty will be volunteering as translators and hosts, greeting global visitors to Philadelphia over the course of the week. The College also will provide the College community the opportunity to watch the Public Mass on the Parkway on Sunday, September 28 at 4 p.m. in the East Parlor, while also celebrating liturgy in Carlino Chapel at 3 p.m.

Chestnut Hill College will end Mission and Legacy Week on September 30 with a Founders’ Day celebration, marking the College’s founding in 1924 and the continued mission and charism of the Sisters of Saint Joseph alive at Chestnut Hill College.

On-Campus Events for the celebration of Mission & Legacy Week at Chestnut Hill College

  • Sept. 24, 8:45 – 11 a.m., East Parlor – Viewing of Pope Francis’ Address to U.S. Congress featuring pre-speech prep with Jacki Reich, Ph.D., coordinator of the Political Science Program, live Twitter monitoring during the speech by political science professor, Jeffrey Carroll,  and post-address conversation and discussion. Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to take part in this lively discussion.
  • Sept. 24, 2 p.m., East Parlor - Krista Bailey Murphy, Ph.D., Dean of Student Life, will present a lecture titled “A Culture of Encounter: Leadership Inspired by Pope Francis.”
  • Sept. 25 – The College will join in a Day of Service to mark the Pope’s visit in solidarity with the community. Two opportunities will be available. A group will serve at St. Joseph Villa with those suffering cognitive disability and diminishment through guided technological exercises on iPads.  Another group will launch the College’s Midnight Run program, a weekly service initiative to collect and distribute leftover food from local restaurants to area soup kitchens. 
  • Sept. 27, 3 p.m. – The College will celebrate its weekly Sunday Mass in Carlino Chapel followed by a broadcast of the Papal Mass on the Parkway at 4 p.m. in the East Parlor.
  • Sept. 29, 2 p.m., East Parlor – Chris Lowney, renowned author of the book, “Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads, Lessons from the First Jesuit Pope,” will present a lecture titled, “Doing the Laundry and Dirty Shoes: Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis.”
  • Sept. 30, 2 p.m., East Parlor – The College will celebrate Founders’ Day, a commemoration of Chestnut Hill College’s founding in 1924 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, with a talk given by Katherine Hanley, CSJ, titled, “Reflecting on the SSJ Charism and Mission.”  This talk will explore the connection between the mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, the message being preached by Pope Francis and the call today to live a mission of active, inclusive love.  

Following this presentation, the 1650 Society, Chestnut Hill College’s Mission Honor Society, will induct and commission its members for the year ahead.

Marilee Gallagher '14


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