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Pope Francis: Inspiring Words for a Global Community

​​​​DePaul’s Global Conversations initiative has given us global exposure as a provider of quality virtual opportunities for students around the world to connect and dialogue on themes of contemporary global relevance. As a result of this work, DPaul was asked by a coalition of organizations connected with the Vatican to host a historic special global conversation with Pope Francis. On All Saints Day , November 1 2022,  DePaul  coordinated and hosted  a Global Conversation between Pope Francis and 10 students from Catholic universities in the African countries of Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Congo - Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The theme of the conversation was "Ubuntu: A Culture of Encounter; We All Belong," which prompted students to dialogue on the needs of the global church and how they are connected to one another.  

 During this conversation which was broadcasted via YouTube all over the world, students from universities and seminaries in Africa posed their pressing questions to Pope Francis on topics such as global health inequities, ecological justice, and how they can help end war, hunger, poverty, corruption, and the displacement of people in crisis. Pope Francis addressed students’ questions and provided them a sense of hope.

This event served as the second in a series of youth conversations between university students and Pope Francis. The previous conversation was held in February 2022 with youth across the Americas. DePaul’s Fr. Stan Chu Ilo, professor with the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, who also serves as member of the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network, was a key coordinator of the DePaul event liaising between the Vatican, DePaul, and the youth in Africa. Other key members of the conversation were DePaul Student Government Association (SGA) President Kevin Holechko, who provided a welcome address, and Sr. Rosemary Nyirumbe from Uganda, who gave the concluding remarks. The fruits of both youth conversations will be shared with the Synod of Bishops, a process of consultation between the pope and bishops in the Catholic Church. ​​


These conversations between Pope Francis and students will hopefully inspire DePaul students to join hundreds of other students around the world in DePaul’s next round of Global Conversations to be held virtually April 24-27 & May 1-4, 2023. To see upcoming session topics and to sign up, please visit