Among the important events developed by Pope Francis in his recent apostolic trip to Japan (23-26 November) is the visit made on 26 November to Sophia University, founded in 1913 by the Society of Jesus. Our sisters Salomé González and Angustias de Arcos are Spanish teachers there. They had the opportunity to attend this university meeting with Pope Francis and in the following way they tell us about their experience.
In an atmosphere of warmth and joy, as the Holy Father always sows as he passes by, the University of Sofia welcomed the message addressed to us by Pope Francis.
Among his words, it is worth mentioning the great technological advances of today, which must be “put at the service of a more humane, just and ecologically responsible education”. He stressed that in this very competitive and technologically oriented Japanese society, Sofia University “should be a centre not only for intellectual formation, but also a place where a better society and a future full of hope can take shape”.
Especially noteworthy for me is what he said about the formation of students at this Catholic university: “No student of this university should graduate without having learned how to choose, responsibly and freely, what in conscience he knows to be the best. That in every situation, even the most complex ones, they be interested in what in their conduct is just and human, thorough and responsible, determined defenders of the vulnerable, and be known for that integrity that is so much needed in these times when words and actions are often false or misleading.
Finally, he addressed students, teachers and all staff to tell them that God and his Church “count on you to participate in the mission of seeking, finding and expanding divine Wisdom and offering joy and hope to today’s society.
We thank God for the privilege of having Pope Francis among us and we join in his prayer that all his apostolic dreams may be fulfilled.
The images show the emotion and joy of the university students in the face of the Pope’s imminent arrival at the University, the different moments of the act (photos taken on the screens, given how difficult it is to take direct photos of the event), and some young university students of our sisters and members of the PUJ, including a nice group photo with a gigantography of the Pope.