Former Swiss Guard Turns Attention to Global Poverty

Submitted by Jorge Espino '11 on April 18, 2010

On April 13, 2010, Andreas Widmer, former Swiss Guard for Pope John Paul II and founder of the Seven Fund, visited the Charles F. Dolan School of Business to talk about his experiences in the Vatican and around the world. Andreas was invited by the Center for Faith and Public Life as well as the “Golden Stags” to be the fourth annual Thomas More Lecture guest speaker.

Now involved in the Seven Fund, which seeks to increase the diffusion of enterprise based solutions to poverty, Andreas travels the world as a beneficent entrepreneur. He describes his job as “sharing opportunity like a family shares the table at a dinner party.”

His presence and humor made the crowd of Golden Stags, students, and professors instantly comfortable and attentive. Vignettes about his time protecting Pope John Paul II were both insightful and humorous. The glimpses of the many impoverished countries he has visited first aroused concern, then hope.

Andreas left the crowd with the maxim, “Through work we not only make more, we become more.” He also left several copies of the book In the River They Swim (Templeton Press, 2009). The book is a collection of essays by people who, like Andreas, seek enterprise solutions to poverty. Two of the essays in the book were contributed by Andreas to the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, where his vision will live and await the discovery of future Fairfield University students.

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