On St. Ignatius feast, pope meets family of Jesuit kidnapped in Syria

  • Pope Francis meets the four sisters and three brothers of Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, missing and presumed kidnapped in northern Syria since July 29, 2013. The pope met the family at the Jesuit headquarters in Rome, where they all joined the Jesuit community for lunch. (CNS photo courtesy Infosj, Rome)

Pope Francis, a Jesuit, celebrated the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola by meeting the family of a Jesuit kidnapped in Syria a year ago and joining them and priests at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch.

Jesuit Fr. Giuseppe Bellucci said the pope had "communicated at the last minute" his desire to join the community at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch Thursday, the feast day of the founder of the Society of Jesus.

"It was a private and simple visit," Bellucci said.

Among those present in the community's refectory were the four sisters and three brothers of Italian Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, who was believed to have been kidnapped in northern Syria July 29, 2013. He has not been heard from since.

On the first anniversary of his disappearance, one of his brothers and one of his sisters -- speaking on behalf of the family -- posted a video on YouTube asking those responsible for Dall'Oglio's disappearance to let the family know if he is alive or if they should be in mourning.

Don't miss a thing! Get NCR's free newsletter.

Pope Francis offered them "words of appreciation and comfort," Bellucci said.

After lunch, the pope visited one of the chapels in the Jesuit headquarters that had been remodeled with mosaics by Jesuit Fr. Marko Rupnik and joined the community for a quick espresso, served in little plastic cups.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017