Feb. 22, 2013
CUA Throws a Papal Retirement Party
On the evening of Feb. 20, about 50 students from The Catholic University of America crowded into the Cellar in the basement of Caldwell Hall to throw a retirement party for Pope Benedict XVI.
Students enjoyed foods inspired by the pontiff’s tastes, including German sausage and orange soda, one of the Pope’s favorite beverages, as well as a vanilla sheet cake. They signed a card that will be sent to the Vatican for the retiring bishop of Rome.
The Cellar, a living-room-style space lined with couches and armchairs and lit by Christmas lights and floor lamps, was decorated with pictures of the Holy Father. When students walked in, the most eye-catching feature was a large banner on the back wall from Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 visit to campus.
“After so many CUA students have seen or met the pope at World Youth Days and in their own trips to Rome, it’s no surprise that so many have been saddened by his decision, but grateful for the eight years he gave us as pope,” said senior Kevin Dawson, a politics major from Northridge, Calif., and one of the student organizers of the event.
“Truly his ministry changed the hearts and minds of young people, particularly here at CUA, and the Church could not have been more blessed to have him as a Holy Father.”
The party was part of a series of Cellar Nights, weekly themed social events sponsored by Campus Ministry that take place after Praise and Worship adoration on Wednesday nights. Following the hour of adoration from 9 to 10 p.m., the Cellar Night theme is announced and students head downstairs to enjoy food and fellowship.
“It’s so uplifting to work with our students who are so connected to the life of the Church,” said Rev. Jude DeAngelo, O.F.M. Conv., University chaplain and director of campus ministry.