2015-09-28 12:22:00

Pope Francis makes surprise visit to St. Joseph's University

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop at Philadelphia’s Saint Joseph’s University on Sunday, shortly before celebrating the final Mass for the World Meeting of Families.

Pope Francis blessed a new statue -  “Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time” – which commemorates the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Vatican II Document on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions.

The bronze work located in front of the Chapel of St. Joseph is by Philadelphia artist Joshua Koffman, and was  dedicated on 25 September.

Saint Joseph’s University is a Jesuit institution, and was the first University in the United States to found an Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations.

 “To have him actually set foot on our campus was unforgettable, said Mark C. Reed, Saint Joseph’s president.

“This is a truly historic day for Saint Joseph’s University, Jesuit education across the country and the importance of interfaith relations,” he added.

Rabbi Abraham Skorka of Buenos Aires, a longtime friend of Pope Francis, was also at the brief ceremony.

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