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Dr. Rosalie and Mr. Anthony Mirenda Meet Pope Francis

Tony and Dr. Rosalie Mirenda
Mr. Anthony and Dr. Rosalie Mirenda await the arrival of the Holy Father
with 150 seminiarians.


During a whirlwind, six-day trip to the United States, Pope Francis was seen from afar by hundreds of thousands of well-wishers. His television audience was greater still, with prime time exposure on national news programs as well as local outlets in Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia.


Pope Francis with Rosalie and Tony Mirenda
Bishop Timothy Senior introduces Pope Francis
to Dr. Rosalie Mirenda and her husband Tony
at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary.

The number of people who were able to greet the Holy Father personally, however, was much smaller. Dr. Rosalie Mirenda, Neumann’s president, and her husband Tony (Neumann's official Ambassador) are among that select few.


On the morning of Saturday, September 26, the Mirendas joined approximately 150 seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to greet Pope Francis after a Mass at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.


Dr. Mirenda described the moment as “joyous and sacred,” adding that “the excitement was palpable among us as the seminarians sang beautiful hymns and exchanged hope-filled remarks about their future as priests and the influence this opportunity to meet the Pope in their home at St. Charles would have in their lifetime.”


“For the Ambassador and me,” she continued, “the moment we had shaking the hand of Pope Francis was moving and, in those seconds, we each realized how blessed we were and, yet, how responsible we are to continue to carry the message of Pope Francis to those in our lives. When Bishop Senior introduced me as the president of NU, I realized that, in that moment, all of Neumann had shaken the hand of Our Holy Father - an unforgettable moment.”  


“What a moment for our Church, our archdiocese, and every faith-filled person in this world!” she concluded. "The words ‘what about you’ are forever etched in our hearts. Now we need to answer the question.” 


Dr. Mirenda served on the board of directors of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), held in Philadelphia from September 22-25, and coordinated the fundraising support that the organization needed from all the Catholic institutions of higher education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


In addition, Dr. Mirenda loaned two faculty members to the WMOF. Mary Beth Yount, PhD, an assistant professor of Pastoral and Theological Studies, has been working with the WMOF for the last year. She was the director of content and programming for the global event that the Roman Catholic Church hosts every three years. 


Karen Thomas, an instructor in the Communications and Digital Media major, was also on loan to the WMOF this semester. She assisted with the complex task of managing the thousands of media requests for access to the conference and papal visit.



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