“Scholas Occurrentes,” a global education project promoting a “culture of encounter” among high school students launched by Pope Francis, has been wanting to expand its reach into the United States.

On the morning of Friday, Dec. 13, it was the Holy Father himself who announced from Rome that Los Angeles would be the place to start that process….

Archbishop Gomez was joined by Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, and nearly three dozen high school students from around the archdiocese as well as a handful of other dignitaries inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels conference room to officially welcome the invitation for “Scholas Occurrentes” (“Schools for Encounter”) to set up its 14th worldwide office, and its first in the U.S.

Archbishop Gomez said “Scholas” is the kind of initiative the country is basically “asking for” in today’s polarized environment.

“It’s time for the Church to be a leader,” said the archbishop. “It’s a great opportunity for kids from different religions to come together and share what they feel and then listen and really help us to understand what they are all thinking. I think their ideas will be a great blessing for the future of the Church and society….”

The above comes from a Dec. 13 story in Angelus News.