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Sacred Heart Professor: Students Connect With 'Green' Message From Pope

Sacred Heart University students watch the pope on CNN Thursday.
Sacred Heart University students watch the pope on CNN Thursday. Photo Credit: James Kearns

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Swarms of Sacred Heart University students surrounded televisions to watch Pope Francis address a joint session of Congress on Thursday and the United Nations on Friday.

“There were large numbers of students attending,” Professor Michael Higgins told the Daily Voice on Friday. “In fact, there were packed halls.”

Higgins said the pope’s views toward the environment allow him to connect with this generation of students, who are concerned about the well being of the planet.

“They don’t live in an isolated part of the world,” Higgins said of his students. “They are a part of the global reality that is our planet.”

“This generation of students is very interested in the survival and sustainability of the planet,” Higgins said. “Pope Francis has managed to connect with this anxiety. As a consequence, (this generation has) responded well to his addresses in Congress and the UN.”

Pope Francis urged the world to focus on environmental issues during his address to a joint session of Congress.

"We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental change we are undergoing, and its human roots, concerns and affects us all,” he told members of the senate and house, NPR reported . ”I am convinced that we can make a difference. I am sure.”

Higgins said the pope’s idea that all students — and all people — live in one common home is an important message for them to heed.

"This is an exciting time for us and for Catholics throughout the United States," Petillo wrote.

“They don’t live in an isolated part of the world,” Higgins said of his students. “They are a part of the global reality that is our planet.”

Higgins said he hopes his students will continue to relate to the pope's call to pay attention to the environment and climate change.

“My hope is that the next generation of Catholics will be connected to these issues that mean so much to this pope,” Higgins said.

Sacred Heart University President John J. Petillo shared similar sentiments on his blog .

"This is an exciting time for us and for Catholics throughout the United States," Petillo wrote. ”The pope is charismatic and articulate, and his messages are on point. He is not afraid to point out that issues like climate change, income inequality and immigration are moral rather than political issues, and it is up to all of us to act."

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