Making Good Trouble – with Hope!

Building Bridges North-South" virtual event, Loyola University Chicago with Pope Francis and students from North, Central and South America on Feb. 24, 2021. (Loyola University Chicago)

Building Bridges North-South" virtual event, Loyola University Chicago with Pope Francis and students from North, Central and South America on Feb. 24, 2021. (Loyola University Chicago)

Last week an extraordinary virtual synodal conversation took place across the Americas. Pope Francis listened to Catholic university students from North, South Central America and the Caribbean as they shared their experiences, insights, frustrations and plans to make the world a better place on issues important to them like migration, climate change, and growing income inequality. 

For nearly two hours Pope Francis listened to university students, took notes, and engaged them in a dialogue in this Feb. 24 synodal event hosted by Loyola University Chicago in collaboration with other Catholic universities. The pope spoke in Spanish and translation was available in EnglishSpanish and Portuguese. In the weeks prior to this meeting with Pope Francis, regional synodal gatherings took place with 131 students at 58 universities from 21 countries.

One moment that stood out for me was when Pope Francis encouraged students to “armar lío con esperanza” which essentially translates into making good trouble with love. He encouraged students to be the conscience of society. I love this perspective that the synodal journey invites students to ask challenging questions of church and civic leaders, to point towards emerging frontiers, and to be rooted in the ideals, hopes and dreams of the Gospel.  

“The Holy Spirit needs us,” said Pope Francis, “This is the vocation of Christians; to build bridges. 

Nearly 6,000 people participated in the live streamed event, and if you didn’t get to see it last week, it is well worth your watch this week! It’s a model for the kinds of courageous and creative conversations that are possible as a People of God on the synodal path. 

Here’s the link to recording: Building Bridges: A Synodal Encounter between Pope Francis and University Students

You may also read this article about the event by Brian Fraga of NCR. 

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“[I hope the Church ordains women to the diaconate] to bring a wider witness and expression of God’s life, love, and presence to the people of God. Women’s voices and leadership will heal, encourage and empower the lives of men, women, and children. It will call forth a new understanding of church vocation and enrich Catholic family life.”
Deedee Van Dyke
Catholic Chaplain, Joliet, IL
“The first Apostle was a woman, Mary Magdalena. She continues to remain a tower of strength for women in ministry today. If more women were ordained to the diaconate in the Roman Catholic Church, I believe we would have more meaningful and spiritually enriching homilies, and our liturgies would embrace and welcome all to the Eucharistic table.”
Sonja Grace
“If I was ordained as a deacon, it would not be a means to an end, but rather it would be a continual invitation to a deeper and broader journey with Christ. Deacons are asked to become outwardly more visible as hands in service to the Church. To respond to such a vocation would be a treasure, a deepening of my inner faith life enriched by the outward experiences of ministry and service. Both the inner and outer journey become a longing to seek and know the Christ we are called to serve.”   
Nina Laubach
Student, MDiv program at Princeton Theological Seminary

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