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A message from Loyola President Brian F. Linnane, S.J., on election of Pope Francis

| By Nick Alexopulos

As we at Loyola University Maryland welcome Pope Francis, we ask God to bless him in his ministry to the Catholic Church and to the world.

It is so gratifying to our academic and faith community that our Holy Father is not only an accomplished intellectual in the tradition of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI but also that he is a member of the Society of Jesus, the order whose ideals guide our university. As a Jesuit, he appreciates the principles we treasure here at Loyola, understands our mission as a university and the responsibilities we hold, and he embraces our commitment to social justice.

At this time of much division in our Church and throughout the world, how meaningful that our Holy Father chose the name Francis, the name of St. Francis of Assisi, who was called to rebuild Christ's church on earth. We recognize that Pope Francis will need to bridge gaps both within the Roman Catholic Church and between Catholics and people of other faiths, and we support him in his efforts to do so.

As Pope Francis embraces the many challenges ahead, always working to accomplish them for the greater glory of God, we will keep him in our prayers. At this time we can reflect on the words of St. Francis of Assisi, "Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

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