Vatican Official Coming to University

By Kyra Krzywicki – Staff Writer

A high-ranking Vatican official is coming to the University of Scranton to speak about women in the church March 29 at 7 p.m. in the DeNaples fourth floor ballroom.  

The speaker, Sister Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ, serves as the undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. 

Vice President of Mission and Ministry Dan Cosacchi said Becquart’s visit marks the celebration of Women’s History Month, Pope Francis’s 10th pontifical anniversary and the 50th anniversary of co-education at the University of Scranton. 

The visit is also helping students celebrate on a personal level. 

Sophomore Julia Donofry said Becquart’s position in the church is an inspiration to her. 

“I think it’s really empowering . . . you know, her vocation to be a religious sister but also to have a career. It’s really empowering, and it’s a beautiful thing,” Donofry said. 

Cosacchi said Becquart would become a historic female figure if Pope Francis grants her a vote at the synod of bishops. 

“If she’s able to cast a vote at this that would be something that no woman has ever done in the church, and that’s really significant,” Cosacchi said. 

Cosacchi said it’s important for the community to celebrate female voices because women are a central part of the University’s mission and identity.  

“That’s something that we celebrate throughout the university but in particular in the Office of Mission and Ministry,” Cosacchi said. 

Donofry said she’s excited to hear Becquart speak.  

“I think it’s pretty great that she’s coming to, of all places, the University of Scranton, but I think it’s pretty special especially for people in the Catholic community,” Donofry said. 

Becquart will also receive the Pedro Arrupe, S.J. Award for Distinguished Contributions to Ignatian Mission and Ministries during her visit. 

This event is free and open to the public, and Cosacchi said the larger community in the Diocese of Scranton has been invited to attend.  

“What I was trying to do here was even expand that out to each, like on the parochial level, so that each parish recognizes that the University of Scranton really can be like a second home for them in in the diocese,” Cosacchi said.