The Catholic University of America

Sept. 12, 2011

University Marks 9/11 Anniversary with Service and Mass

  9/11 service day
  President Garvey and students take a break while gathering trash from the Anacostia River during the 9/11 Day of Service.   > View photo gallery

The Catholic University of America observed the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this weekend by performing service around Washington, D.C., on Saturday and gathering for a Sunday evening Mass, where the victims were remembered.

A group of 158 volunteers from Catholic University, including President John Garvey and his wife, Jeanne, fanned out across the city on Sept. 10 for the national 9/11 Day of Service.  They cleaned up parks and school grounds, and worked at a food bank. The Garveys were joined by 140 students and 16 faculty and staff members.

In remarks at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center before the volunteers left campus, Garvey said, “We honor those who died on 9/11 by our efforts to make this world better. We know that the same God who gives eternal life created this world to be good. We hope for better things in this world as well as the next, and we work for that better world. May God bless our efforts.”

The University partnered with HandsOn Greater DC Cares in coordinating service activities at five different sites in Washington, D.C., including Ft. Mahan Park, Burrville Elementary School, the Anacostia River, Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, and the Capital Area Food Bank.

Jeanne Garvey worked at the food bank on Taylor Street in Northeast D.C., sorting bags of rice and vegetables. President Garvey donned chest-high waders and stood in the Anacostia River, cleaning out a floating litter-collecting device as a volunteer for the organization Groundwork Anacostia River D.C.

9/11 service day  
Juliann Abercrombie from the Center for Academic Success sweeps outside Burrville Elementary School in Northeast D.C.   > View photo gallery  

Together, the volunteers from CUA contributed more than 800 hours of service that will be counted as part of the Cardinal Service Commitment in which members of the CUA community are striving to perform 125,000 hours of service in honor of the University’s 125th anniversary.

On the evening of Sept. 11, about 700 students gathered in the Great Room of the Pryzbyla Center for a Mass commemorating the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Rev. Jude DeAngelo, O.F.M. Conv., Catholic University’s chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, served as the main celebrant and addressed the 9/11 tragedy in his homily.

At the Mass, music performed by about 35 singers and instrumentalists filled the Great Room, where every seat was filled and students were lined up three deep around the periphery of the room.

At the Offertory, members of the University’s College Republicans and College Democrats served as gift bearers, presenting the bread and wine for consecration as well as a list of the victims who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field near Shanksville, Pa. Members of the student groups also presented banners — one for each of three sites — on which students had written messages about the tragedy. The banners will be delivered to the sites.

President Garvey delivered remarks about the tragedy after Communion. 

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