Newman University Pope Mania

Sep 24, 2015

With Pope Francis on American soil there is no shortage of interest being generated for his first U.S. visit, especially on the Newman campus.

Newman Campus Ministries hosted a doughnut and coffee watch party in the Roths Alumni Center for students, faculty and staff who wanted to view the papal address to the United States Congress. It was a first for a leader of the Catholic Church.

Newman’s Campus Ministries hosted a coffee and doughnut event Sept. 24 to watch Pope Francis address the U.S. Congress.

In addition to the Campus Ministries event, the Newman Theology Department has been helping Wichitans learn about Pope Francis.

Wichita radio station KNSS News Radio 1330 featured Newman Associate Professor of Theology Josh Papsdorf, Ph.D., in a live interview segment Sept 24. In the interview Papsdorf told listeners about the history of the papacy and discussed the importance of the pope’s visit.

You can listen to the interview by clicking below.

Newman Dean of Graduate Studies and Continuing Adult Education Father Joe Gile said Pope Francis’ visit is extremely important.

“I think it’s going to be a great time for Catholics in this country,” Gile said. “I think it’s going to be one of those times where it’s really fun to be a Catholic.”

Father Joseph Gile
Father Joseph Gile

Gile said the visit is a tremendous opportunity for the Catholic Church, and he sees it as something that will be inspiring to all the faithful in America.

“I think he brings Jesus Christ to the world,” Gile said. “He goes out to everybody and says, ‘There’s a place for you in this church of ours, you belong.’ He does this no matter how marginalized they are, no matter what they’ve done.”

Gile added that the pope’s reception is going to be tumultuous.

“The crowds are going to be huge,” Gile said. “His popularity crosses denominational lines. Catholics will take great pride in the Holy Father being here.”


Pope Francis arrived around 4 p.m. on Tuesday in Washington D.C. Among other events, he canonized Junipero Serra, the Spanish missionary who introduced Christianity to California in the 18th century, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on Wednesday. The pope will make his way to New York by Thursday evening, and will arrive in Philadelphia Saturday morning before leaving for Rome at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Listen to an interview of Fr. Gile about the pope’s visit.

This article includes portions of an article published on Sept. 23, 2015.