The Catholic University of America

Nov. 23, 2015

Thanksgiving with Father Jude


While most students at The Catholic University of America will be traveling home for the Thanksgiving holiday, a number of them will remain on campus, unable to join family and friends.

Despite the empty campus, students will have the opportunity to share a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Rev. Jude DeAngelo, O.F.M. Conv., University chaplain and director of Campus Ministry. The Thanksgiving dinner will be served from 1 to 3 p.m. in the dining hall in Curley Hall.

This is Father Jude’s sixth time hosting the Thanksgiving dinner for students, a tradition that began more than 10 years ago. The free meal is fully serviced by CUA’s catering company, and faculty and staff provide the desserts.

“The meal is really outstanding; they do a fantastic job. They serve ham, turkey — all the fixings,” says Father Jude. “And the desserts are always delicious.”

Last fall, there were nearly 75 students who attended the dinner, and Father Jude expects a similar turnout this year. He says those who have attended the dinner in the past include international students, graduate students, faculty and staff.

Senior Lauren Harper, who lives in Cincinnati, will be attending Father Jude’s meal for the second year in a row.

“I am a resident assistant on campus and will be on call a few nights during the break,” says Harper. “I also live in Ohio, which is a bit further away, so it is easier to stay on campus rather than travel during the hectic holiday weekend.”

Harper says as a sophomore she spent the holiday with a friend who lived in the Washington, D.C., area, and while she appreciated the time spent in a home, she couldn’t help but feel that she was imposing on her friend’s family time. However, she says Thanksgiving with Father Jude gave her the opportunity for a large group of “eclectic” students to be her family for the day.

Father Jude agrees, saying the meal is a chance for students to gather for the feast, regardless of culture.

“There is a natural desire for people to want to come together to eat, give thanks, and have a good time,” says Father Jude.

According to Harper, Father Jude’s spirit is a large reason this is made possible.

“Last year, I loved how welcoming Father Jude was,” she says. “Everyone sat at large tables with people they didn't know, but because Father Jude was so welcoming, he helped everyone feel at ease and at home.”

Harper notes that this “family” atmosphere at Father Jude's Thanksgiving dinner is what “brings a bit of the holiday spirit to campus” and reminds her “why I consider CUA my home.”

Registration for the dinner is required by Monday, Nov. 23. For more information or to register, visit




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