STANDISH — On Monday, April 12, St. Joseph’s College of Maine will host Bishop Robert Deeley for an online gathering to discuss the importance of Pope Francis’ historic visit to Iraq last month. The free event, which will be presented via Google Meet, will begin at 12:30 p.m. Anyone interested in viewing the conversation on Monday can access it at

During the first week of March, Pope Francis made a four-day visit to Iraq, the first-ever papal visit to the country, with a plea for the citizens to protect the area’s centuries-old diversity through interfaith unity and respect.

“Pope Francis, even by his presence, assured the people of the gift of their faith and brought them hope. He called for an acknowledgement from religious leaders ‘that we journey together as brothers and sisters in the firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace… mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence.’ In appealing to government leaders, he asked them to appreciate the role of religion in bringing about a harmonious society,” said the bishop.

The special online gathering is part of St. Joseph College of Maine’s “Mission Momentum” series that offers a monthly event featuring conversations about and reflections on a variety of themes. For more information, contact Chris Fuller at or 207-893-7705.