Recorded Segment of Pope Francis Videoconference Available

Due to technical difficulties with Vatican Media, Washington participants could not connect live, but a recorded video was produced

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory, students from Archbishop Carroll High School, and other young adults, faculty, and guests prepared to greet Pope Francis during a live videoconference today to commemorate the launch of a new Scholas Occurrentes chapter in Washington. While the community was unable to connect with Rome for the program due to technical video and audio issues, a recorded segment of the gathering’s participation is now available.

The opening ceremony took place at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, and was attended by Martina Amengual, Scholas Occurrentes’ Coordinator of Global Expansion.

The new Scholas chapter in Washington joins the Scholas chapter in Los Angeles, which began in 2019. Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez participated in the live videoconference to introduce the Washington chapter and to share how Scholas Occurrentes has helped young people implement God’s plan for the world.

In the recorded video, Cardinal Gregory spoke a message of greeting to the Holy Father. “Our need for unity has never been greater than it is today,” he said. “With our new Scholas chapter, we are tremendously grateful that our young people will gain greater insight and experience in truly seeing, respecting, and assisting our sisters and brothers from various cultures, races, ethnicities, nations, religions, and abilities.”

Cardinal Gregory shared his hopes of how young people, especially through the new Washington chapter, would experience authentic encounters and find unity in genuine dialogue. The chapter’s first experiences will include the launching of an educational program at Georgetown University.

“Our new chapter of Scholas will provide an additional opportunity for our young people to continue to create a new culture of meaningful and long-lasting encounters,” he said. “Our new Scholas chapter begins its work with interreligious dialogue at Georgetown University, where our young adults will analyze your encyclicals, Holy Father, through the lens of each of their faith traditions.”

Two young adults – Darius Villalobos, director of diversity and inclusion for National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, and Adrianna Smith, a Georgetown University student – also addressed Pope Francis and shared their hopes for the new chapter in the recorded video. Together with Cardinal Gregory, and to mark Laudato Si’ Week, they planted a seed to symbolize the beginning of the growth of the new chapter.

During the live videoconference, Pope Francis addressed other communities that also celebrated the inauguration of new chapters or programs, including in Valencia, Spain; Chaco, Argentina; and Sydney, Australia. He met and heard testimonies at the Vatican offices of Scholas Occurrentes in Rome from those who have been impacted by the educational work of Scholas Occurrentes.

Here is usable video from the day as we debut our new Scholas Occurrentes chapter in Washington, as well as highlight footage from the launch.

Read more, and find photos from the event, at the Catholic Standard.