The Catholic University of America

Oct. 31, 2012 

300 Students Attend Mass in Hurricane’s Wake


Students pray during the Mass.

“We will never understand why these natural disasters happen. But it’s not so much that they happen, it’s how we as human beings respond,” said University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry, Rev. Jude De Angelo, O.F.M Conv., during a Mass attended by about 300 students in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

At the Mass of Petition and Thanksgiving, held Oct. 30 in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center Great Room, the students prayed for families and friends devastated by the storm.

The students also gave thanks for the safety of the Catholic University community, and for the staffs of the offices of facilities, student life, safety, and dining services, that provided for students who live on campus during the storm.

Following Mass, University President John Garvey addressed the students, reminding them to be particularly thankful for the sacrifices of University personnel, many of whom spent the night on campus on Oct. 29 to respond to any emergency situations and to make services such as food preparation available.

“I want you to be sure to thank every one of them. When you see the people in the Pryz, when you see the people in Starbucks, when you see the people that have been up at 2 in the morning, when you see the facilities people, when you see the public safety people, tell them ‘thank you’ for what they did. Because it means a lot to them just to hear that from you,” Garvey said.

The Mass was also in remembrance of one student’s father, who was killed in New York City during the storm.

  Chaplain and Campus Ministry Director Rev. Jude DeAngelo gives the homily.

Father Jude urged students to remember the small ways they could help their classmates whose families may have been affected by flooding and other destruction.

“What this teaches us again and again is how we can grow in Christ Jesus, how we can reach beyond ourselves to care for the other. We may not be able to get in vans and buses to go up there to the Northeast to help with the cleanup, but we can reach out to one another here,” Father Jude said.

He gave a special word of thanks to those who set up the Pryzbla Center Great Room by 10 a.m. Oct. 30, within two hours of his last-minute idea to hold a University Mass.

Students provided music for the liturgy, which included piano, a violin instrumentalist, and a small choir. Father Jude was the principal celebrant, assisted by associate chaplains Rev. Andrew Santamauro, O.F.M Conv. and Rev. Marek Stybor, O.F.M Conv. as well as Rev. Christian Raab, a religious in residence in Flather Hall.

Students expressed comfort and appreciation after the Mass.

“I thought it was definitely needed for a community that is very much affected [by the hurricane],” said Matthew Maddatu, a first-year graduate student in religious education from Brick, N.J. “A lot of people are based in the New York, New Jersey area. It was a good way to give comfort, because a lot of people are worried.”

“It was a really great testament to the faith of our campus,” said junior early childhood education major Annie Bist from Tallahasee, Fla. “People took the time to come to the Pryz for Mass.”



More news from CUA