The Catholic University of America

April 14, 2008

Catholic University Readies for Papal Visit

Media trucks prepare to broadcast Pope Benedict XVI's visit to campus.
With 13 media satellite trucks parked in front of McMahon Hall, Catholic University continues to busily prepare for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI April 16 and April 17.

As part of the preparations, on Monday, April 14, students will meet at the Office of Campus Ministry in Caldwell Hall at 8 p.m. and walk through campus in a candlelight procession, making five stops while saying the rosary. Also on Monday, students in Centennial Village and Gibbons Hall will make banners to welcome the pope.

On Tuesday, April 15, at 9 p.m., students from throughout the campus will also meet at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center to make posters and banners to help welcome the Holy Father.

And on Wednesday, April 16, at 8 p.m., there will be an all-night prayer vigil, followed by confessions and all-night Eucharistic adoration. Also included in the evening are prayer at 10 p.m., praise and worship adoration at 12 a.m., morning prayer and benediction at 6:45 a.m. and readings of the writings of Pope Benedict XVI each hour on the hour.

Seventeen CUA students are also rehearsing two pieces of music - Laudes regiae: Christus vincit and Tu es Petrus - to perform for the pope at the Pryzbyla Center April 17. Leo Nestor, Justine Bayard Ward Professor of Music at CUA, will direct the choir.

Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception the afternoon of April 16, when he will address Catholic bishops of the United States. Several thousand CUA alumni, faculty, staff and students are expected to greet the pope as he arrives and departs from the National Shrine.

One of the many banners welcoming the pope to the CUA campus hangs from the student center.
The Holy Father will visit the CUA campus the next day after his 10 a.m. Mass at Nationals Park. Students have been invited to watch the Mass on a JumboTron near the lawn of the Columbus School of Law, and then enjoy an afternoon of activities.

Several thousand students are expected to be on hand to greet the pope as he arrives at the Pryzbyla Center late in the afternoon.

At 5 p.m., Pope Benedict XVI will address Catholic educators and diocesan leaders at the Pryzbyla Center. His talk will also be streamed live on the CUA Web site, Pope Benedict XVI will then go to the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center on nearby Harewood Road to meet with leaders from other faiths at 6:30 p.m.

En route, he will travel in the popemobile past five or six thousand well wishers gathered on the CUA campus, most of them from parishes in the Washington archdiocese and the Arlington diocese.

With the exception of the Columbus School of Law, all classes will be cancelled and all academic buildings will be closed on April 16. The entire university will be closed on April 17. There will be no parking on campus either day.

Hundreds of members of the media are expected to be on campus during the visit and a special media center has been established to accommodate them.

MEDIA: To cover the events, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.