The Catholic University of America

Sept. 1, 2011

Service Sign-Up Launches 125th Anniversary

  Students sign up for service
  Freshman Pamela Cabrera, in white, signs up to volunteer with Brookland Outreach, a University-sponsored service program.  Photo Gallery

Representing Brookland Outreach, a service organization at The Catholic University of America, a senior from Annapolis, Md., extended her hand to a freshman from College Park, Md.

“Hi, I’m Carmelina Gilberto. I’m a social work major.” “Me too,” said freshman Pamela Cabrera, excited to meet another student from the National Catholic School of Social Service.

“Do you like working with kids?” asked Gilberto, explaining the focus of Brookland Outreach. “I love kids,” said Cabrera as she printed her name and e-mail address on the sign-up sheet.

It was the official launch of the Cardinal Service Commitment, in which Catholic University will strive to perform 125,000 hours of charitable service by next Founder’s Day, April 10, 2012 — the University’s 125th birthday.

Reflecting on the University campaign and what service means to her, Cabrera said, “Service is where I find myself. When I help the poor and needy, I live my life with happiness.”

The service fair at the University’s annual picnic on Sept. 1 brought together 20 charitable organizations from the University and the Washington, D.C., community.

Cardinal Wuerl visits Cardinal Service sign-up fair  
Cardinal Wuerl greets seniors Lily Tarasevich, of Portland, Maine, and Nora Viggiano, of Philadelphia, as they gather volunteers for So Others Might Eat (SOME).  

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, the University’s chancellor and Archbishop of Washington, made his way through the fair stopping at each table to learn about the programs. “Thank you for coming,” he said to each representative.

Looking around the crowded University mall on a late-summer day, Cardinal Wuerl said, “This is not only exciting, but so fitting  for our Catholic faith, which tells us we are supposed to help one another, most especially those in need. This is the perfect way to celebrate 125 years.”

The annual picnic followed the University’s Mass of the Holy Spirit, which marks the official start of the academic year.

At the “Visit with Veterans” table, seniors Lauren Scharmer, from Lakeville, Minn., and Bridget Maley, from Princeton, N.J., were thrilled with the growing list of names on their sign-up sheet. “The freshmen have been particularly excited about the service fair,” said Scharmer. “Having all of these groups out here makes for a very approachable way to get involved. Just look at all these opportunities. There is something for everyone.”

“We chose to set up a program at the Armed Forces Retirement Home so that we can give back to those who have given so much to our country,” said Maley.

  Related Links

Mass of the Holy Spirit
> Full report
> Cardinal Wuerl's homily
> President Garvey's remarks
> Video
> Photo Gallery

At the service fair, many students signed up for the 9/11 National Day of Service in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10. “We still need about 300 students, faculty, and staff to sign up for the 9/11 events to reach our goal,” said Homer Twigg, a graduate assistant in the Office of Campus Ministry and one of the student coordinators of the  Cardinal Service Commitment.

In his remarks at the conclusion of the Mass of the Holy Spirit, President John Garvey invited all members of the CUA community to sign up for this special day of service to remember and honor those who died on Sept. 11, 2001. To sign up, visit

Although the Cardinal Service Commitment was officially launched on Sept.1, the University community —faculty, staff, students, and alumni — began logging hours on May 15. So far, the University has recorded nearly 28,000 hours. For more information on Catholic University’s Cardinal Service Commitment and to report service hours toward the University’s 125,000-hour goal, visit


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