A transportation executive by profession, New Haven Terminal’s vice president Michael “Mike” Vasaturo dedicates much of his free time to his Catholic faith. Michael Vasaturo belongs to and actively supports the Knights of Columbus, which recently mobilized to support a visit to the U.S. by Pope Francis.
In September of 2015, Pope Francis visited several locations in the United States. Following the visit, the Knights of Columbus commissioned a Marist poll to gauge the response of Catholics to his visit. The poll revealed that support for Pope Francis among practicing Catholics rose to 90 percent after the visit, a 7 percent increase over support levels in August. Among the general population, support for the Pope rose to 74 percent from 58 percent.
The Pope’s visit also seems to have strengthened Americans’ feelings about their personal faith, regardless of religious affiliation. The same Marist poll suggested that 86 percent of Catholics feel more positively about their faith after the Papal tour, a mindset shared by 56 percent of overall respondents. Perhaps more importantly, 86 percent of Catholics reported themselves likely to participate in charitable giving and aid to individuals in poverty, a commitment that Pope Francis urges for all Christians.