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Campus Ministry Invites SJU Community to Tweet Pope Francis

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pope Francis encourages the faithful to reach him through social media, so the St. John’s University community is preparing to send an invitation of its own—asking the Holy Father to respond to their collective tweet.

Campus Ministry is asking students, alumni, faculty, administrators and staff to reach out to Pope Francis via Twitter (@pontifex) on Friday, February 7, encouraging him to tweet back. The occasion is the Feast Day of Blessed Rosalie Rendu, D.C., an important, beloved member of the Vincentian family.

A dedicated friend of those in need, Sr. Rosalie counseled Blessed Frederic Ozanam as he founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at the Sorbonne University in Paris in 1833.  According to Rev. John Kettelberger, C.M., University Chaplain, Bl. Rosalie Rendu had a “practical and creative love for the poor and she mentored young people, especially Frederic Ozanam, to share in that mission.”

Just as Sr. Rosalie’s guidance and encouragement inspired Catholic and Vincentian values at the Sorbonne; Pope Francis has inspired young people around the globe to be alive in their faith.  At World Youth Day this past August, he urged young people to go, be not afraid, and to serve.

The Holy Father has had a strong impact on St. John’s students. “The Holy Father has inspired me to strive to be more courageous in sharing my faith and be more open to shine brighter in all that I say and do,” said Gina Darnaud ’17CPS. “He reminds us that we all truly make up the face of God, together as one family, through our thoughts, words, and actions.”

As Bl. Rosalie used her energy and enthusiasm to put her faith into action, Pope Francis’ humility and enthusiasm is inspiring new approaches to evangelization on St. John’s Campuses.  “Pope Francis is meeting our students where they are,” said Robert Cote ’10C, Resident Minister for Leadership, “particularly through social media he encourages them to live out their faith and to bring God’s love to others.”

By tweeting Pope Francis on Friday, February 7, the University will display its appreciation for his example. We hope that the Holy Father will respond to St. John’s because he sees the community’s commitment to good works. As one student, Christopher Palluccio ’17CPS said, “It would be a great encouragement to us if Pope Francis tweeted at St. John’s, because it would mean he saw the mission we are living out here.”

Please tweet Pope Francis—asking him to respond—at @pontifex, using the hashtag #SJUHolyTweet. A sample tweet is “@pontifex you inspire us, please tweet at @stjohnsu #SJUHolyTweet.” Want to learn more? View our #SJUHolyTweet video.