"Tantalizing" might be the word which best describes Pope Francis’ much anticipated trip to the United States. He will be in New York City and Philadelphia but fly over New Jersey.
Even though only a handful of our students and faculty will have the opportunity for a firsthand experience of the Pope’s visit, the Prep community is preparing to welcome him and his message during this visit.
Obviously, the fact that Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope adds to our excitement. His outspoken concern for the poor and disenfranchised encourages us in our theme for the year: People of God, Pueblo de Dios, with a special focus on the poor in Latin America.
This week we are encouraging the wider Prep community to share their hopes and prayers for this visit. The prayers will be collected and carried by the delegation of six students and two faculty participating in the St, Joseph’s Prep 2Philly4Francis, Ignatian Pilgrims on the Journey gathering of 42 of our Jesuit high schools from around the country and Canada.
In school we have adapted the schedule on Friday so that we can all watch Pope Francis’ speech to the United Nations and then discuss it. Many of our religion teachers are preparing their students by reviewing his encyclical, Laudato Si.
On a lighter note, we will have the opportunity to take a selfie with a Francis cutout and donate money in support of the Jesuit Relief Services work with the refugee crisis in Europe.
We may not be able to be there, but we hope to welcome the Pope with our prayers and to follow him and his message with our hearts.
Rev. Kenneth Boller, S.J.
Father Boller assumed the presidency of Saint Peter's Prep during the summer of 2013, becoming Prep's 27th president. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1964, and has committed most of his five decades as a Jesuit to the mission of education, mainly at the secondary level.
Fr. Boller taught mathematics at Xavier High School in Manhattan from 1969-72, and served as dean of co-curricular activities from 1975-78. From 1979-1986 he served as principal of Canisius High School in Buffalo, then returned to Xavier in 1986, serving as headmaster and then president until 1997. After seven years as pastor of Saint Aloysius Church in Harlem, with a focus on the growth and development of the parish’s school, Fr. Boller was appointed president of Fordham Prep in 2004.