Maria Regina Student Selected to Meet Pope

Angelica Almanza, a senior at Maria Regina High School, was one of a select group of four from the U.S. who had the honor of meeting Pope Francis, when she recently participated in the Inaugural Scholas Summit of Meaning held at the Vatican. In addition to Angelica, the group comprised one other student from the Archdiocese of New York and a student and teacher from Los Angeles.

“Meeting Pope Francis at the Inaugural Scholas Summit of Meaning in Rome was a surreal and profoundly moving experience that filled me with immense gratitude,” said Angelica about her inspiring encounter with His Holiness, adding, “Connecting with students from around the world and receiving the Pope’s blessing is a cherished memory, filling me with deep appreciation and reminding me of the extraordinary blessings life holds.”

Angelica received the invitation in a letter from Maria Martha Barreneche, Executive Director of Scholas US.  Barreneche wrote Angelica that the “summit represents a monumental stride in the pursuit of fostering greater understanding and enlightenment. It serves as the grand inauguration of the University of Meaning, a visionary initiative crafted by His Holiness through Scholas Occurrentes, his esteemed foundation.”

Barreneche added, “Your unwavering dedication to the principles espoused by Scholas USA and your exemplary contributions to its noble cause have not gone unnoticed. Therefore, it is with utmost reverence that we cordially invite you to apply for this esteemed opportunity to represent Scholas USA on the international stage.”

Since her junior year, Angelica has been actively involved with Scholas, an organization founded by Pope Francis that encourages students from all backgrounds to come together and discuss meaningful topics and service projects.  In addition, the renowned all-girls Catholic Maria Regina has been one of Scholas’s New York pilot schools.

The experience has made an impact on Angelica. She noted: “Scholas not only taught me about changing the world, but they also empowered me to become an agent of change. Their commitment to education, empathy, and action inspires me today. I am grateful for the invaluable lessons and opportunities they provided, and I am determined to use my knowledge and skills to contribute to a better, more compassionate world.”

Angelica will graduated with honors on May 31 during Maria Regina’s annual Commencement exercises for the Class of ‘24. She will continue her education at University of Connecticut studying Animal Science on a Pre-Veterinary Track.

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