Pope Francis meets with Loyola Chicago students over Zoom

Loyola University Chicago hosted an historic conversation Thursday, allowing students to speak directly with Pope Francis.

Through a translator, the pontiff said at the beginning of the Zoom, "Thank you first of all to the university students who are the heart of this. They are our life."

School leaders said the event was a first-of-its-kind virtual conversation with college students and the pope. They discussed important topics of migration and climate change.

"No U.S. diocese has committed to carbon neutrality and few parishes use clean energy. In our experience, priests never discuss climate change," said one student on the Zoom.

Loyola hosted watch parties, with the big star of the school attending — Sister Jean. She said she appreciated the conversation's theme, "Building Bridges."

"The word 'bridges' always suggests communications to me and this is something we're lacking in society," said Sister Jean.


Afterwards, students involved in the conversation said they appreciated the chance the talk to the pope as well as other young people from North, Central and South America.

"It was really a unique opportunity to be able to hear all these different perspectives. We all had a common hope and common will to be able to create some change," said Sophia Alvarado.

They spoke different languages but Aleja Sastoque said, "it was the same hope, the same movement, let's fight and let's work together and let's make a revolution."

Their hope is to keep the conversation going and make this an annual conversation.