Papal encounter

Kelly McGrath '15 and Pope Francis
Campus & Community / Alumni | August 14, 2016


"I've met a lot of inspiring Jesuits throughout my lifetime," says alumna Kelly McGrath.  "But this one topped them all!"

McGrath, who graduated from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences in 2015 with a degree in communication and international studies, had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis during the course of an internship at the Vatican this summer.

As she pursues a master's degree in international education at New York University, McGrath has spent the last several months abroad as an intern for the State Department, first in public affairs at the United States Embassy to the Holy See in Rome, where BC alumnus Kenneth Hackett '66 has served as ambassador since 2013, then at the Pontifical Council for the Laity. During that time, she attended a papal audience at which the Holy Father addressed the Council during a plenary assembly. The photograph was was taken after his remarks in the Sala Clementina, a hall of the Apostolic Palace near St. Peter's Basilica.

"My experiences in Rome these last few months have been nothing short of a blessing," added McGrath, who as a member of the varsity swim team during her time at BC received the Athletic Director’s Award for Academic Achievement and was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll. "This moment in particular represents a culmination of unique circumstances that I'm confident came from hard work, gratitude, and a strong faith—all values instilled in me throughout my education at Boston College."

—News & Public Affairs