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A Message from Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., Loyola’s President: Reflecting on the life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI waves to a crowd in St. Peter's Square

Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., president of Loyola University Maryland, issued this statement on the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Dec. 31, 2022:

As we mourn the death of retired Pope Benedict XVI, we reflect with gratitude on his contributions to the Catholic Church and to the faith. Serving as pope from 2005-2013, the pope emeritus was a theologian, a scholar, a thinker, and a faith-filled shepherd for the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict served as a significant leader between the papacies of Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis, guiding the Church during a difficult time in history.

We will offer a time for our community to come together in prayer for Pope Benedict at our First Friday Mass on Friday, Jan. 6, at 12:10 p.m. in Alumni Memorial Chapel. Our Loyola community joins people around the world in praying for Pope Benedict’s soul, in thanksgiving for his life, for comfort for those who will miss him most, and for the continued work of the Church on earth.

When Pope Benedict made a historic trip to the United States in 2008, he spoke to Catholic educators at Catholic University of America. In his remarks, he said, “Bear witness to hope. Nourish your witness with prayer. Account for the hope that characterizes your lives by living the truth which you propose to your students. Help them to know and love the One you have encountered, whose truth and goodness you have experienced with joy.”

As we reflect on Pope Benedict’s life and legacy, let’s try to embrace that sense of hope and joy in the work that lies ahead—especially as we begin a new year together.

The AJCU Statement on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Letter from Rev. Arturo Sosa, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus