The presidents of three Catholic colleges in Minnesota will attend events on the East Coast this week in connection with the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.

The Rev. Dennis Dease of the University of St. Thomas and sister Andrea Lee of the College of St. Catherine will be in the audience for a papal address to presidents of Catholic colleges and universities on Thursday at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Benedictine brother Dietrich Reinhart, president of St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., also will attend the event.

"This is a wonderful opportunity and honor," Lee said. "Pope Benedict XVI has a unique and broad perspective of academic life and a real understanding of the challenges we face." Dease will present to the pope a photo from his visit to St. Thomas in 1984 as well as a bound collection of copies of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture, which is published quarterly by the Center for Catholic Studies at St. Thomas.

Dease will hear the pope's address on Friday at the United Nations in New York City and will attend a papal reception Sunday sponsored by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See Mission to the United Nations.

As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the pope was prefect of the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith when he visited St. Thomas on Feb. 13, 1984, to celebrate a mass and deliver a homily commemorating the 15th anniversary of St. John Vianney Seminary.