The Catholic University of America

Feb. 19, 2008

CUA Students to Pray Rosary with Pope Benedict XVI via Satellite

On Saturday, March 1, about 100 Catholic University students will begin their spring break in one of the university's campus chapels by taking part in the Sixth European Day for University Students with Pope Benedict XVI presiding via satellite. The theme of the vigil will be "Europe and the Americas together to build a civilization of love."

Along with CUA, university students from nine other countries will pray the rosary with the pope. Other participating groups will be gathered in Toledo, Spain; La Aparecida, Brazil; Loja, Ecuador; Naples, Italy; Havana, Cuba; Mexico City, Mexico; Avignon, France; Bucharest, Romania; and Minsk, Belarus.

Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will be filming the event to transmit CUA's portion via satellite to the other locations. CUA participants will view the pope and participants in the other countries on a large television set up in the Caldwell Chapel for this event. EWTN will also broadcast the event to its viewers.

Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and chancellor of Catholic University, will preside at CUA. Very Reverend David M. O'Connell, C.M., university president, will assist him. Also in attendance will be Most Rev. Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The vigil will begin at 11 a.m. (5 p.m. Central European Time) and last about two-and-a-half hours. The pope will arrive in Paul VI Hall in Vatican City at noon and will receive greetings from each of the locations. Archbishop Wuerl will deliver the welcoming address from Catholic University. Pope Benedict XVI will then begin praying the rosary.

Catholic University will take part in the recitation of the Fifth Glorious Mystery. A CUA student will introduce the mystery and invite all to recite the prayer. The pope will recite the beginning of the Our Father and then the CUA students will complete the prayer. Ten CUA students will lead the recitation of the 10 Hail Marys. Archbishop Wuerl will conclude the Fifth Mystery with a short prayer in English.

In addition to the students who will be praying in CUA's chapel, Father O'Connell was able to facilitate a request by some Catholic University students who will be visiting Rome to recite the rosary with the pontiff in Paul VI Hall.

After the rosary, the Holy Father will address all the participants from the 10 countries in several languages. The pope's encyclical on hope, Spe Salvi, will be distributed to a group of 10 students in each location. At the conclusion of the service, all participants will receive the pope's Apostolic Blessing.

This event occurs approximately six weeks before Pope Benedict XVI makes his first visit to the United States April 15-20. He will visit The Catholic University of America on April 17 to deliver an address on Catholic education to presidents of Catholic universities and diocesan heads of education.

CUA students wishing to participate in the Sixth European Day for University Students must sign up by Wednesday, Feb. 20, at For more information, call the Campus Ministry office at 202-319-5575. The number of spaces is very limited and they will be given out on a first-come first-serve basis. All those wishing to participate will need to be in Caldwell Chapel no later than 10 a.m. on March 1.

MEDIA: To cover this event, media must register with Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.