The Catholic University of America

Aug. 30, 2011

Catholic University to Host Picnic Fun and Charity Sign-up for 125th Anniversary

  These "awareness" bracelets will be given to those who pledge service or who have already logged service hours for the Cardinal Service Commitment.

At the annual Catholic University picnic Sept. 1, the University’s students, faculty, and staff will learn about and sign-up for local charity work as part of a year-long service campaign marking the University’s 125th anniversary.

Those at the picnic who pledge service or who have already logged service hours at the campaign’s website — — can pick up a Cardinal red “awareness” bracelet that reads “CUA Serves.”

This year, Catholic University — founded by papal decree in 1887 — commemorates 125 years as the nation’s flagship Catholic university.

As part of the celebrations, Catholic University is launching the Cardinal Service Commitment, in which the University community will strive to perform 125,000 hours of charitable service by next Founders Day, April 10, 2012.

Service is a great way to mark the University’s birthday “because Christ calls us to serve our sisters and brothers in any way we possibly can,” explains Rev. Jude De Angelo, O.F.M. Conv., Catholic University’s chaplain and director of Campus Ministry.

“As the Catholic University of America, what better way to celebrate our anniversary than to highlight our commitment to the Gospel.”

At the Sept. 1 Mass of the Holy Spirit — the official opening of the academic year — Catholic University President John Garvey will announce the Cardinal Service Commitment. Afterwards, at the annual University picnic, there will be informational displays where students, faculty, and staff can learn about local charities and volunteer for projects — like playing with children at St. Ann’s Infant & Maternity Home, visiting with people with intellectual disabilities, and serving breakfast to the poor and homeless of Washington.

The picnic-service sign-up is a natural next step after the Mass, says Father Jude.

“It makes sense that we go forth as we’re given the command at the end of Mass, go forth and proclaim the Gospel. And so, to sign up for community service opportunities is our way of completing the mission of the celebration of Mass.”

The Mass of the Holy Spirit will take place at 12:10 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Weather permitting, the picnic runs 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. on the University Mall, just outside the basilica. Classes scheduled during that period are cancelled. Classes beginning at 3 p.m. or later will meet as scheduled.

For more information on Catholic University’s Cardinal Service Commitment and ideas for service, and to log service hours toward the University’s 125,000-hour goal, visit



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