The Catholic University of America

April 19, 2006

U.S. Cardinals to Gather in Washington, D.C., April 28 For Annual CUA Scholarship Fundraiser

Cardinals Will Celebrate Public Mass at Basilica of National Shrine of Immaculate Conception

WASHINGTON - America's Catholic cardinals will travel to the nation's capital to raise money for college scholarships at the 17th American Cardinals Dinner, to be held Friday, April 28, 2006, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, located at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, and Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, will serve as co-hosts for the 7 p.m. dinner, which will benefit Catholic University scholarship funds.

Prior to the dinner Cardinal McCarrick, who also serves as CUA's chancellor, will be the principal celebrant at a 3:30 p.m. Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (400 Michigan Ave., N.E.). The other cardinals in attendance will concelebrate the Mass, which will be open to the public. Father O'Connell will be the homilist.

Each year a different archdiocese hosts the black-tie event; this will be the first time since 1994 that the U.S. cardinals have gathered in Washington, D.C., for the fundraiser. In recent years the dinner has been held in such cities as Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul and San Francisco. Since its inauguration, the annual event has raised more than $20 million to support Catholic University.

The dinner traditionally features all or most of the eight cardinals who currently serve as archbishops of U.S. dioceses. They also are members of CUA's Board of Trustees.

Also expected to attend the dinner are Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, and Bishop William E. Lori, bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport (Conn.) and president of the CUA Board of Trustees.

Highlights of the dinner will include entertainment by students in CUA's Musical Theatre Program and presentation of the $10,000 American Cardinals Encouragement Award, which recognizes faith-based initiatives that reflect Christian values. This year's recipient is the Little Sisters of the Poor, who operate the Jeanne Jugan Residence for the elderly poor in the District of Columbia.

In addition, Father O'Connell will present Smith Bagley, president of the ARCA Foundation, with the university's highest honor, the President's Medal. Bagley, while chairman of the university's Board of Regents, founded the American Cardinals Dinner in 1989.

MEDIA: Members of the media may obtain more information about covering the dinner by calling Chris Harrison or Catherine Lee in the CUA Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.

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The Catholic University of America, located in the heart of Washington, D.C., is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church in America. Founded in 1887 and chartered by Congress, the university opened as a graduate research institution. Undergraduate programs were introduced in 1904. Today the private and coeducational campus has approximately 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in 11 schools of architecture and planning, arts and sciences, canon law, engineering, law, library and information science, music, nursing, philosophy, social service, and theology and religious studies.

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Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,