Prayers for the repose of Pope Emeritus Benedict’s soul

January 2, 2023

To the University community:

With great sadness, La Salle University joins the Catholic Church in mourning the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He died Saturday at age 95 in Vatican City.

Pope Emeritus Benedict led the Church from his election in April 2005 until his resignation in February 2013. An ordained priest since 1951, the German-born Pope Emeritus was renowned for his intellect and theological scholarship. He served professionally as a scholar and professor many years before assuming his role as head of the Catholic Church. He studied, among many topics, theology and the specific topic of “pastoral sensitivity.” The legacy of his teachings and writings will live on in perpetuity; in particular, his 2005 encyclical Deus caritas est (Latin for ‘God is love’) reflects on the concepts and forms of love.

Less than three years into his papacy, Pope Emeritus Benedict delivered a critically important message to hundreds of educators and administrators of Catholic colleges and universities. In his 2008 visit to Washington, D.C., the pontiff suggested that the Catholic identity of a university resides in what he called “the ecclesial life of faith” on our campuses. In his words, Pope Emeritus Benedict instructed our Catholic institutions to continue to make “vital contributions to the mission of the Church” and “truly serve society.” Our campuses, he said, must always be “places in which God’s active presence in human affairs is recognized and in which every young person discovers the joy of entering into Christ’s being for others.”

University Ministry, Service, and Support will celebrate a Mass in De La Salle Chapel in Pope Emeritus Benedict’s memory at the start of the spring semester. Details will follow once they are confirmed.

As we begin a new year, let us challenge ourselves to manifest Pope Emeritus Benedict’s legacy by recalling our responsibility to think of how we can be of service to the Church, society, our University, and others.

May the soul of Pope Emeritus Benedict, and the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.


Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D.