WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Frank Guinta and St. Anselm College President Steven DiSalvo, his guest, will attend Pope Francis’ Mass today at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Catholic University in the capital. At the afternoon event, Pope Francis will canonize Junipero Serra, the Spanish Franciscan friar who brought Christianity to California in the 18th century.


The New Hampshire representative and the leader of Manchester’s Catholic liberal arts school, known for hosting presidential primary debates in the Granite State, released the following statements in advance of today’s service:


President DiSalvo:


“Having spent my career in Catholic higher education, I feel particularly blessed to be invited to attend this Mass. I am excited to hear in person the words of Pope Francis, which provide inspiration every day to Catholics around the world, and to represent the thousands of alumni, students, faculty and staff members of Saint Anselm College who find comfort and grace in faith and in service to humanity in keeping with that faith every day."


Rep. Guinta:


“Pope Francis is bringing a message of hope to Americans, when many doubt our country’s direction. I expect his words to resonate with those of all faiths and to create more dialog about problems facing us and solutions, especially to growing poverty. Tomorrow, the Pope will also address a joint meeting of Congress, needing his spirited encouragement, as we work to find common ground. I’m proud to share the experience with President DiSalvo, whose school is an invaluable resource to students seeking careers in public service.”


President DiSalvo’s St. Anselm College is home to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and Political Library. Rep. Guinta (NH-1) is Manchester’s former mayor and current member of the House Subcommittees on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, as well as Monetary Policy and Trade.