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Walsh Welcomes His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze

School News

September 18, 2019

While Walsh University has hosted prominent Catholic leaders in the past, welcoming a Cardinal to campus is a rare opportunity for any Catholic organization.

Walsh University had the esteemed privilege of hosting His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria to campus on Tuesday, September 17, for the Celebration of Holy Mass of the Memorial of Saint Robert Bellarmine in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel.

Click here to read the Canton Repository Coverage of this Historic Visit.

During his visit, the Cardinal met with Walsh President Dr. Tim Collins, his wife, Drenda, as well as local religious leaders, and shared remarks on the topic of  “The Church and our Young People” with students and theologians during an afternoon Q&A in the Barrette Business and Community Center.

“Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. I see it written on the entryway of your beautiful Chapel here. Christ gives meaning to our lives. He gives a sense of unity to the various things we do,” said his Eminence in his remarks to students. “Life is not just one senseless thing after another. The various things we do during the day are parts of a mosaic that makes sense. Christ gives all that a sense of unity and direction. With Christ, we know where we are going.” 

Francis Cardinal Arinze was ordained a priest in 1958 for the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria. When he was 32, he became the youngest Catholic bishop in the world and served at the coadjutor archbishop for his home diocese. Cardinal Arinze is a member of the Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. He was also a close advisor to Pope St. John Paul II, who elevated him to the cardinalate and appointed him head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in 1985. In 2002, he was named prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which he now serves as prefect emeritus. 

Cardinals are known as ecclesiastical “princes of the church,” who are designated by the Pope to assist him in the administration of the church at the highest level. They are the most senior officials under the Pope. Collectively known as the College of Cardinals, they serve as the Pope’s chief counselors, contributing to the governance of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinals also elect the Pope when that position becomes vacant and have done so since 1059.