The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Pope makes a historic visit to New York

Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the United States is inspiring young Catholics to take a more active role in their faith.

After spending April 15 – 17 in Washington D.C., The Pope arrived at John F. Kennedy airport on April 18 to begin the New York leg of his U.S. visit.

The Pope’s N.Y. trip included delivering a speech to the UN General Assembly and dinner with Catholic Church officials on April 18, attending mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and a papal youth rally at St. Joseph’s Seminary Church the following day. He also visited Ground Zero and held mass at Yankee Stadium before departing for Rome on April 20.

St. John’s hosted a string of events centering around the historic occasion. Mass was held daily from April 15-18. There were also live simulcasts of the papal youth rally and the mass at Yankee Stadium in the Thomas More Church.

One student, junior Ben Liss, who attended the Pope’s mass at Yankee Stadium, described the event as “very exhilarating.”

“When he entered, the entire stadium erupted with applause,” he said. “You could feel the energy.”

Liss said that he was glad he was given the opportunity to go, and he added that “it was nice how there were so many opportunities for people to see [the Pope.]”

Another student, freshman Brandon Brathwaite, said, “It’s exciting to see such an important figure here in New York.”

Brathwaite, however, said that he feels the Papal visit should have focused more on the declining number of young Catholics.

Freshman Doug Taggart said that he believes the Pope’s visit will have an impact on world affairs.

“Politically and democratically it [the visit] is important, since this is his first visit to the United States, and he will have the opportunity to meet with world leaders,” he said.

During the Pope’s stay in Washington D.C., Rev. Donald Harrington, president of St. John’s, met with Benedict XVI.

“What I heard the Pope saying was that Catholic Universities should be lights to students to help them walk the path to truth and be a place where they can truly find joy and happiness,” Harrington said. “I heard him recognizing that young people struggle at times and things can look bleak – but he urged us, as educators, to be their Bearers of Hope and bring them light.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *