Ravens Reporting From Rome: How Two Students See the Synod

It is the biggest story in the Catholic Church, and they are writing for one of the largest circulation Catholic news sources from the heart of it. Two students at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, are getting the chance of a lifetime, covering the Synod in Rome for CatholicVote, with their stories shared with the Loop, which reaches more than 500,000 subscribers.

“It has been great being able to read daily reports on The Loop from Benedictine College students reporting on the Synod,” said President Minnis. “Jack Figge leaves Rome soon, but will be replaced by Hannah Hiester.”

Jack Figge (pictured above) is a Sophomore member of the Ex Corde Fellows at Benedictine College from St. Louis, Missouri. He has written for multiple diocesan papers, the National Catholic Register and FOCUS.

His coverage has included “Synod Posts Confidential Documents to Unsecured Server,” and “African Archbishop Encourages All Diocese to Embrace Perpetual Adoration.”

See Figge’s coverage here.

A junior journalism and Spanish major, Hiester is from Dexter, Mich. She has been a staff writer at CatholicVote since June and has covered everything from breaking news  to bioethics, lawsuits, and cultural issues. Her Synod articles include “Commission for Protection of Minors Appeals to Synod,” and “In Wall Street Journal Opinion Piece, Catholic Researcher Shares Concerns About Synod.”

See coverage from Hiester here.

Previously, Jack Figge covered World Youth Day in Portugal for the Kansas City-Kansas diocese. “There are so many differences between my experience covering World Youth Day and the synod,” he said. “For starters, I’m not sleeping on a gym floor here in Rome!”

“Here is the biggest difference, though,” he said. “When writing about the synod, you talk a lot less about Jesus and more about politics. I loved covering World Youth Day because I reported on how Jesus touched 90 different pilgrims’ lives. At the synod, though, many of the topics they are discussing are politically charged and for some reason, few people are talking about what matters: Jesus.”

Lead image: Jay Soldner, Leaven.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.