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July, 2019

Christmas and Spring Events to Remember

By Lisa Carroll

Celebrate the Christmas season at special events this December. And don’t forget to mark several upcoming spring events in your calendars.

Most notably, on April 17, Pope Benedict XVI will visit the campus, the first time a pope has come to CUA since Pope John Paul II spoke here on Oct. 7, 1979. He will come to CUA to deliver a speech to Catholic university and college presidents and diocesan educators.

The international symposium on natural law will attract leading thinkers.
Coincidentally, CUA’s Center for Law, Philosophy and Culture will host an international symposium on natural law that was organized in response to a request by the pope when he was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. From March 27 to 30, 22 speakers who constitute a “who’s who” of leading philosophers, political scientists and theologians from around the world will ponder topics centered around the theme of “A Common Morality for the Global Age: In Gratitude for What We Are Given.”

This year's Catholic University President's Festival of the Arts, Feb. 25 through March 2, will focus on the work of playwright Thornton Wilder. CUA's music school will perform Wilder's classic play Our Town and will also perform the Northeast U.S. premiere of an opera version of the play. Several of Wilder's three-minute plays will be performed as operas, as well.

Other highlights of the spring semester include a symposium on former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a lecture by a NASA scientist and a visit by the archbishop of Dijon, France.

Before the end of the fall semester, CUA will celebrate the Christmas season with several concerts. On Dec. 7, the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will present the 19th annual Christmas Concert for Charity. This year’s beneficiary will be Providence Hospital's Perry Family Health Center, which treats low-income patients in D.C. The university’s Women’s Chorus, Town and Gown Community Chorus and the Chamber Choir and Chamber Players will also present holiday-themed concerts in December.

Below is a list of Christmas and spring events, shown by category. 

Lectures and Conferences

Thursday, January 31
The university’s Center for the Study of Early Christianity presents the annual Mellon Lecture, “Making Further Sense of Jerome” by Philip Rousseau, CUA’s Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Early Christian Studies. 5:15 p.m., McMahon Hall, Room 300.

Friday, February 22
The Catholic University Law Review presents its spring 2008 symposium, “A Tribute to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: Reflecting on Justice O’Connor’s Jurisprudence Relating to Race and Education.” 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Columbus School of Law. 

Friday, March 14
The Physics Department presents its 27th annual Karl Herzfeld Memorial Lecture, to be presented by Michael W. Werner, chief scientist of astronomy and physics and Spitzer Space Telescope project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Details to be announced later.

Wednesday, March 26
As part of its colloquia series, the Department of History presents “Practicing History, Conceptualizing Historiography,” a lecture by Gabrielle Spiegel, the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. Katherine Jansen, associate professor of history at CUA, will serve as commentator. 5:15 p.m., Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Room 321/323.

Thursday, March 27, through Sunday, March 30
CUA’s Center for Law, Philosophy and Culture presents an international symposium titled “A Common Morality for the Global Age: In Gratitude for What We Are Given,” with a keynote address, “The Luminousness of Being and the Light of Moral Insight,” presented via video by Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, Italy. Organized in response to the personal appeal of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, this symposium seeks to elicit ideas and concepts for the renewal of a global culture that can sustain the moral insight necessary for addressing our world’s pressing problems. Leading thinkers from philosophy, theology, ethics and politics will gather for several days of plenary addresses, discussion and common reflection centered on this question. For more information, visit

Monday, March 31
CUA’s Center for the Study of Early Christianity presents “Divination as a Profession in the Roman Empire,” a seminar led by William Klingshirn, professor of Greek and Latin. 5:15 p.m., McMahon Hall, Room 300.

Thursday, April 3, through Saturday, April 5
The School of Canon Law hosts the annual James H. Provost Memorial Lecture and Spring Canonical Seminar. Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France, will give the lecture “How Should Church and State Interact: A Catholic Approach” on April 3 at 4 p.m., in Caldwell Auditorium. The Spring Canonical Seminar, “Getting Civil Law Right: Canonical Criteria for Parish Civil Structures,” will take place at the Jurys Washington Hotel from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., on Friday, April 4, and from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 5. Professors of the School of Canon Law will make presentations.

Monday, April 7
The Columbus School of Law presents “On the Question of Nomos, Prayer and Love: An Anti-antinomean Approach,” a lecture by New York University law Professor Joseph Weiler. Time and location to be determined.

As part of its colloquia series, the Department of History presents “Tocqueville and Democracy in America and France, 1607-2007,” a lecture by James Kloppenberg, the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History at Harvard University. Jerry Muller, professor of history at CUA, will serve as commentator. 5:15 p.m., Pryzbyla Center, Room 321/323.

Friday, April 18
CUA’s Center for the Study of Early Christianity presents “What Pilgrims Say: Genre and Identity in Early Christian Pilgrimage Accounts,” a seminar led by Blake Leyerle, the John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Theology at Notre Dame University. Noon. McMahon Hall, Room 300. 


Tuesday, January 29
The university celebrates the Patronal Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas with a university Mass. Noon classes are cancelled. Classes usually meeting at 1 p.m. will meet at 1:30 p.m.

Friday, May 16
Baccalaureate Mass, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Upper Church.

Music and Drama Events

Saturday, December 1
CUA Women’s Chorus presents a Christmas concert. Concert selections will include Johannes Brahms’ Ave Maria, Gabriel Fauré’s Messe Basse, Nancy Hill Cobb’s Magnificat, as well as works by Francisco Guerrero, Pavel Chesnokov, Michael Haydn, Eleanor Daley and Daniel Pinkham. 4 p.m., St. Vincent de Paul Chapel.

Sunday, December 2

CUA’s Town and Gown Community Chorus presents “Musique de Noël” featuring Camille Saint-Saëns’s Christmas Oratorio, Lili Boulanger’s Psaume 24, Jean-François Dandrieu’s organ variations on Joseph est bien marié and an excerpt from Arthur Honegger’s Une Cantate de Noël. 4 p.m., Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes, 1217 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.

A scene from last year's annual Christmas Concert for Charity.

Friday, December 7

The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception present the 19th annual Christmas Concert for Charity. This year's concert will benefit Providence Hospital's Perry Family Health Center. CUA musicians will perform the première of Hodie nobis descendit by Jason Lovelace, doctoral student in music composition, along with music of Samuel Scheidt, César Franck, Gerald Finzi and carols from around the world. Music of CUA faculty composers Andrew Simpson, Joseph Santo and Leo Nestor will also be performed, along with carols for audience, chorus, orchestra and the great organs of the basilica. 7:30 p.m., Basilica of the National Shrine, Upper Church.

Sunday, December 9
The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music presents Christmas with the CUA Chamber Choir and Chamber Players. Concert selections will include plainsong, Leo Nestor’s Variations on Veni Emmanuel, Felix Mendelssohn’s Veni Domine, Conrad Susa’s Adam Lay in Bondage, Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Salve puerule and Gustav Holst’s Jesu, Thou Virgin Born. 7 p.m., St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill, 313 Second St., S.E., Washington, D.C.

Thursday, February 14, through Sunday, February 17
The Department of Drama presents the play A Perfect Ganesh, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Matt Ripa, an M.F.A. directing candidate. In this Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, two middle-aged upper class New England women decide to forgo their annual vacation with their husbands. Instead they book a two-week tour to India seeking adventure, insight and “a place to heal.”

Monday, Feb. 25, to Sunday, March 2

"Catholic University President's Festival of the Arts presents ... WILDER AND WILDER (Thornton that is ... )" is the title of this year's festival being organized by the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. The festival will feature the Northeast U.S. premiere of Ned Rorem’s opera Our Town, conducted by Murry Sidlin, the music school's dean. Thornton Wilder's classic American play, Our Town, will be performed, as well. The opera will be performed on Thursday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m., and the play on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m., all in Hartke Theatre. A series of lectures, discussions and films will lead up to these performances, featuring experts such as the opera's composer, Ned Rorem; its liberettist, poet J.D. McClatchy; the executor of the Wilder archives at Yale University, Tappan Wilder; art historian Helen Langa; and CUA English professor and Wilder scholar Christopher Wheatley. Among the events that will take place during the week leading up to the performances will be the premiere of opera versions of several of Thornton Wilder’s three-minute plays and the reading of his plays with original incidental music — in each case the music will be composed by CUA students.

Saturday, April 19
CUA’s Town and Gown Community Chorus will present its spring concert. 3 p.m., St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 619 Tenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Thursday, April 24, through Sunday, April 27
The Department of Drama presents Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux. Written in the mid-1940s, the play addresses subjects that are still topical today, such as greed in business, political corruption and the frauds and crimes committed in the pursuit of profit.

Other University Events

Friday, April 11

The Office of Admissions hosts Odyssey Day for newly admitted undergraduate students, who get to meet future classmates and learn about the educational and extracurricular activities offered at CUA. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, April 25
The 19th American Cardinals Dinner will be held in Boston to raise money for CUA scholarships.

Saturday, May 17
Commencement exercises

Friday, May 23
Law School Commencement

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Last Revised 30-Nov-07 12:48 PM.