The Catholic University of America

Sept. 5, 2013

CUA Supports Pope’s Call for Prayers for Syria

In support of Pope Francis’ call for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, The Catholic University of America is encouraging its students to attend Mass and to perform acts of charity on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Rev. Jude DeAngelo, University chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, says students are urged to attend a Mass for Peace and Justice at 12:10 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Basilica of the National Shine of the Immaculate Conception. The Mass, to be held in the Crypt Church, will coincide with a prayer vigil in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome and a call for prayers around the world.

“I urge our students to join with the faithful worldwide in support of Pope Francis’ call for prayers for peace in Syria,” says University President John Garvey. “Our participation in the Pope’s initiative is a sign of the University’s commitment to the Church’s pursuit of peace through a culture of dialogue.”

At the Basilica Mass, Father Jude says students are encouraged to wear blue — the color of the shield in Pope Francis’ coat of arms — as a sign of solidarity with the Holy Father. In addition, students “can answer the Holy Father’s call to prayer” by performing an act of charity, fasting, or giving up an evening out and instead spending a quiet Saturday night with friends, says Father Jude.

Students are encouraged to perform community service on Saturday and to sign a pledge of support at a table in the lobby of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center between 5 and 7 p.m. tonight and between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or 5 and 7 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 6.

In the University’s residence halls, resident assistants are passing out prayers and information about the Basilica Mass as a way to inform students about the Pope’s initiative.

Approximately 350 first-year CUA students will participate in the Pope’s call to prayer at a votive Mass
for Mary Queen of Peace at the Freshman Retreat this weekend in North East, Md.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and University chancellor will serve as principal celebrant and homilist at the Basilica Mass. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States, will represent Pope Francis and offer words of support for the initiative.

Pope Francis issued his call for prayers for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world in an impassioned Angelus delivered Sept. 1 in Saint Peter’s Square.

In his remarks, he said, “I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs all of humanity … it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace.”

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