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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) released the following statement after His Holiness, Pope Francis’ address before Congress. Emmer’s special guests to the joint session of Congress were St. Cloud’s Bishop Kettler, Saint John’s University President Hemesath, and College of Saint Benedict’s President Hinton.

“What an honor! What a celebration of America and what a celebration of faith,” said Emmer. “The Pope’s message of America’s importance to the world and our obligation to lead is inspiring. This should encourage Americans – regardless of political perspective or religious beliefs – to move the country forward and to lead the world to a place of peace and prosperity where future generations can achieve their dreams.”

"It’s a privilege and honor to welcome Pope Francis to our country and attend his historic address to Congress at the invitation of Rep. Emmer’s office,” said Bishop Kettler. “May the Holy Father’s words continue to inspire us — as citizens and as a nation — to share our strengths and blessings for the common good of all.”

“It was an honor to represent the College of Saint Benedict and to hear Pope Francis's address to a joint session of Congress,” said President Hinton “Pope Francis’s remarks resonated with the Benedictine values that guide the College of Saint Benedict. Not only did Pope Francis remind us of our communal responsibility to one another – of the need to work toward peace, justice, and the common good – but he spoke directly to leaders of colleges and universities when he called on us to use technology to support dialog and bridge building. I am grateful that Congressman Emmer created an opportunity for me to participate in Pope Francis’s visit to the United States and to share this experience with so many others.”

“Pope Francis's message of hope and compassion clearly resonates deeply with the American people,” said President Hemesath. “It reminds us of our responsibilities to each other as we work to build a just society, and it is absolutely consistent with state of Minnesota's heritage and the people of Minnesota's values. To be here representing Saint John's University, and by extension the people of central Minnesota, is a great honor. Our congressional delegation, and especially Representative Emmer, has been exceedingly generous in allowing the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University to be part of this historic occasion.”