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Global DePaul

Building Bridges Across Africa: A synodal encounter between Pope Francis and university students

On November 1, 2022 DePaul University hosted a historic encounter among Pope Francis and university students from Africa. Ubuntu: A Culture of Encounter; We All Belong was the main theme of the event, planned as the culmination of a synodal process implemented in many African countries. Nine students from nine different countries engaged in conversation with Pope Francis on a wide range of topics: spirituality and human dignity, ecology, education, youth in the church, and political leadership, among others.

Kelvin Takudzwa Tsuro from Zimbabwe, Twiza Nachilongo from Zambia, Clevine Kavira from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Devis Ampereza from Uganda, Akakpo Ghislain from Cote d’Ivoire, Biligui Nelly Didiane from Cameroon, Joelle Massengo from Congo Brazzaville, Eddah Nabwire from Kenya, and Osemeke Augustine Chidera from Nigeria engaged in dialogue with Pope Francis who encouraged students to be leaders in their countries, communities and in the global church, staying true to their roots.

The event can be viewed in three languages: English | Spanish | French


  • The Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, DePaul University, Chicago
  • The Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network
  • The Pontifical Commission on Latin America
  • The Communication Commission of the Synod of Bishops
  • The Dicastery on Communication
Pope Francis

The synodal process

DePaul University has been very attentive to what is coming from the heart of the church during the pontificate of Pope Francis, particularly as his teaching, his message, and his life are in profound communion with our vincentian spirit. We believe in giving voice to the people and in reciprocal listening. We believe that this is the time for a synodal church, and we support the synodal process the pope is promoting globally. In this context, we are proud to host this historic encounter between the pope and university students from Africa and DePaul. We witness with hope the signs that Pope Francis has given to the church while inviting her to a profound transformation.

About Global DePaul

Global DePaul is a community of globally engaged students, faculty and staff and alumni committed to authentically and warmly welcoming students from all over the world to DePaul and Chicago. 

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