Catholic Intellectual Series Hosts ‘Pope Francis’ Year of Firsts’

Panel will reflect on the first anniversary of papacy

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

by Amanda Sapio '13

PHILADELPHIA (February 19, 2014) — As Pope Francis’ first anniversary as the worldwide leader of the Roman Catholic Church approaches on March 13, Saint Joseph’s University’s Catholic Intellectual Series will host the panel, “Pope Francis' Year of Firsts: Reflections on the Anniversary of the Papacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J.” The event will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m., in the Wolfington Teletorium, located in Mandeville Hall at 54th Street and City Avenue. The panel will consider the papacy from a variety of perspectives, drawing on the expertise of two theologians, a physicist and an influential blogger/commentator.

“Attendees will learn why Pope Francis was the most searched Internet topic in 2013, why his Twitter account outpaces all other world leaders, and why he was the most trended topic on Facebook,” says Daniel Joyce, S.J., assistant to the vice president for mission and identity. “When you go from obscurity to making Forbes magazine’s ‘Most Powerful People in the World’ list, and Rolling Stone puts you on the cover within one year’s time, then there is something extraordinary going on.”

The panel members include:

David Meconi, S.J. – The assistant professor of early Christianity at Saint Louis University and lauded author and theologian will offer a refreshing perspective as a fellow Jesuit.

Kathleen Duffy, S.S.J., Ph.D. – The professor of physics at Chestnut Hill College and expert on science and religion will comment on Pope Francis' scientific background, and how it influences his views on social issues.

Maggie McGuiness, Ph.D. – The professor of religion and vice president of mission at La Salle University and expert on Jesuit history will discuss the long-term impact that Pope Francis will have on the future of Catholicism.

Rocco Palmo – A former U.S. correspondent for the Catholic weekly, The Tablet, church analyst for The New York Times, Associated Press, Washington Post, CNN, and one of the foremost bloggers in the Catholic world through his blog, Whispers in the Loggia, will provide insight on Pope Francis’ impact on social media.

Following the panel discussion, students will host a collection of small group reactions from a generational perspective, as Pope Francis’ leadership is highly popular among millennials. This event is free and open to the public. 

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Director of Communications/CAS, 610-660-3240,


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide-array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni – over 60,000 strong - provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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