As Pope Francis embarks upon his historic visit to the United States, Seton Hall, one of the oldest Catholic diocesan universities in the country, will be there.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, imparted an Apostolic Blessing to Seton Hall in 2013, making it the first and only university in the United States to receive this rare honor.
For the Pope's visit, Seton Hall faculty, clergy, students and seminarians will take part in Papal events and ceremonies throughout. From credentialed Setonian reporters, seminarians and Mass concelebrants in Washington, D.C., to professor participants in ceremonies at the 9/11 Memorial in NYC, the Pope's address to the U.N., and a featured documentary in Philadelphia - Seton Hall will be there.
In addition, media sources throughout the nation have called upon Seton Hall's faculty and clergy for perspective, insight and learned commentary on the Pope and the event, its context and its broader significance. Faculty and clergy have appeared and are scheduled to appear in or on NPR, PBS, the Washington Post, NBC, ABC, 1010 WINS and a host of other local and national media.
When Pope Francis comes to Washington, D.C., he will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and canonize Blessed Junipero Serra. Reverend Monsignor Joseph Reilly, Rector and Dean of Seton Hall's Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, and Reverend John J. Chadwick, Rector of the College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception at St. Andrew's Hall, will be Mass concelebrants.
In addition, approximately 80 seminarians from their schools will join Msgr. Reilly and Fr. Chadwick in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called upon seminarians across the United States to attend the Pope's Mass; all of Seton Hall's resident seminarians will be attending. Seton Hall's seminarians will be seated in the Upper Church of the Basilica, where the Pope is expected to speak with them, and other seminarians from across the United States, privately prior to the Mass. Seton Hall's award-winning student newspaper, The Setonian, will have a credentialed reporter, Emily Balan, covering the Mass.
In New York, when Pope Francis addresses the U.N. General Assembly, Elizabeth Defeis, Professor of International Law, former Dean of Seton Hall University School of Law and an Advisor to the Holy See, will be there. The term "Holy See" refers to the supreme authority and central government of the Roman Catholic Church. Professor Defeis is the Advisor to the Holy See's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations, which participates in all specialized agencies of the U.N. as well as sessions of the General Assembly, Committees and United Nations Conferences and International Agreements. Professor Defeis was appointed Advisor to Holy See's UN Mission in 2011.
When Pope Francis reaches out across faiths and takes part in a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center - which will include Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, Jewish, Hindu, Greek Orthodox and Sikh leaders - the School of Diplomacy and International Relations' Dean Andrea Bartoli, invited by the USCCB to join with the Pope, will be there.
The Vatican website, officially refers to the Pope's visit as the:
Apostolic journey of his holiness Pope Francis to Cuba, the United States of Amerca and visit to the United Nations organization headquarters on the occasion of his participation at the Eighth World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
In addition to hosting His Holiness, Pope Francis, the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia will be hosting a screening of a documentary entitled, "Urban Trinity, the History of Catholic Philadelphia." Seton Hall's Thomas Rzeznik, Associate Professor of History, Vice President of the American Catholic Historical Society and editor of American Catholic Studies, is a "principal scholar" of the documentary. The author of "The Church in the Changing City: Parochial Restructuring in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in Historical Perspective," Professor Rzeznik is featured throughout the film.
Closer to home, the School of Diplomacy and International Relations' Center for UN and Global Governance Studies will host a viewing party and panel discussion of Pope Francis' speech to the U.N. on Friday, September 25, at 8:30 a.m. in the Diplomacy Room in McQuaid Hall. The event is free and open to all Seton Hall students and will feature three distinguished School of Diplomacy and International Relations faculty members with ties to the U.N.
Martin Edwards, associate professor and director of the Center for UN and Global Governance Studies, has expertise in international organizations and international political economy. In addition to Edwards, Father Brian Muzás, assistant professor, will join the discussion. He brings expertise in security and defense systems and ethics, and was recently elected as secretary of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)/Department of Public Information (DPI) Executive Committee. Courtney Smith, senior associate dean and associate professor, has served as a Faculty Consultant for the Secretariat of the U.N. Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations and as a representative for the School of Diplomacy and International Relations' NGO affiliation with the U.N. DPI.