Pope Francis will be making an extra stop to meet with St. Joseph’s University students at the Philadelphia campus before his Parkway parade and Mass Sunday.
The pontiff’s press office made the announcement of the extra stop on the pope’s itinerary for a statute blessing and visit to sick priests.
The Pope was joined by Rabbi Abraham Skorka -- an old friend -- for a ceremony at Joshua Koffman's "Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time" -- a statue recently dedicated outside the university's chapel that commemorates the relationship between Catholics and Jewish people and 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate decree.
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After the visit, excited students snapped photos as the papal motorcade left campus.
"To have him actually set foot on our campus was unforgettable," said Saint Joseph’s president Dr. Mark C. Reed. "This is a truly historic day for Saint Joseph’s University, Jesuit education across the country and the importance of interfaith relations."
The pontiff earlier visited sick Jesuits priests:
Breaking: Pope Francis visited the sick, elderly and infirm Jesuit priests and brothers at the Jesuit infirmary at St. Joseph's University. — James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) September 27, 2015
St. Joe’s sits on City Avenue, a short distance from the pontiff’s temporary residence at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnefield. The university is Jesuit and Catholic.
Students at the university already got a huge thrill on Saturday when the pope’s motorcade was detoured through the college.