Ariadne Cerritelli , Matthew Hoffman , and Joseph Taylor , 2015 architecture graduates who won a CUA competition to design altar furnishings for Pope Francis, attended an event for the media on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, at the workshop where the furniture is being assembled. More than two dozen reporters and photographers from local outlets attended. See below.

Students design altar Pope Francis will use during Washington, D.C., visit

From: Cox Date: Sept. 22, 2015 Author: Patrick Terpstra

Preparations are wrapping up for the pope's visit to Washington D.C., this week.

One item that will take center stage is the altar, designed not by the country's top architects, but rather, a group of students.

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Papal altar 'in unity' with shrine's aesthetics

From: Arlington Catholic Herald Date: Sept. 16, 2015 Author: Christine Stoddard


Catholic U. turned the honor into a contest around final exam time, attracting designs for the papal altar, ambo and chair from 18 student teams in May. The winning team, announced June 2, consists of Ariadne Cerritelli of Bethesda; Matthew Hoffman of Pittsburgh; and Joseph Taylor of Elderburg, Md.

"This is so monumental," said Hoffman, 22, who graduated from Catholic U.'s undergraduate architecture program in May and started graduate studies there this fall, along with Cerritelli. He meant that literally and figuratively. He explained that his team wanted to "retain (the shrine's monumental) timelessness" in their design and that, as a cradle Catholic, "doing something for the pope is just about the best thing you can do."


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CUA students design papal Mass furniture

From: Our Sunday Visitor Date: Sept. 2, 2015 Author: Maryann Eidemiller

With finals and graduation approaching this past spring, students at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., were given the challenge of designing an altar, ambo and chair for Pope Francis' outdoor Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

"We had two weeks to design five pieces of furniture and to prepare a clear and intelligent presentation," said Matthew Hoffman, 22, from Pittsburgh. "We really had to contain our excitement about what we were doing - designing for the pope! - so as to not lose too much focus. Time was not on our side."

He and Ariadne Cerritelli of Bethesda, Maryland, and Joseph Taylor of Eldersburg, Maryland, formed one of the 18 teams that submitted plans. On June 2, they officially were announced as the winners.


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Artesão peruano constrói altar no qual o Papa Francisco celebrará Missa nos Estados Unidos

From: ACI Date: Aug. 25, 2015 Author: Maria Ximena Rondon

O Vaticano escolheu o carpinteiro peruano Carlos Hernández para construir e esculpir o altar, dez cadeiras e o ambão que serão utilizados pelo Papa Francisco durante sua visita apostólica aos Estados Unidos em setembro deste ano.

Esta não seria a primeira vez na qual a Santa Sé deixa um trabalho à cargo de Hernández. Segundo Associated Press (AP), no ano 2008 o carpinteiro foi eleito para construir o altar que o Papa Bento XVI utilizou para uma Missa no estádio Nationals de Washington, durante sua visita apostólica aos Estados Unidos.


Os móveis para a Missa de canonização foram desenhados por três estudantes da Catholic University of America (CUA). Um deles é Ariadne Cerriteli, estudante espanhola de arquitetura na CUA, ela participou de um concurso convocado pela arquidiocese de Washington e pela universidade.

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Here is the Catholic U-Designed Chair the Pope Will Use

From: Date: Aug. 20, 2015 Author: Michelle Goldchain

When Pope Francis visits Washington, D.C. in September, he will sit on a very specific chair at an outdoor Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The School of Architecture and Planning at the Catholic University of America held a student competition to design a chair, altar table, and pulpit for the Holy Father. The winning design was submitted by graduating undergraduate seniors Ariadne Cerritelli, Matthew Hoffman, and Joseph Taylor, who as a group received $6,000 as an award.

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Catholic University students witness the furniture they designed being built for Pope Francis's Mass

From: Catholic Standard Date: Aug. 19, 2015 Author: Mark Zimmermann


This spring, students at the School of Architecture and Planning at The Catholic University of America undertook an assignment like no other. They were invited to participate in a competition to design the altar, ambo and chair that Pope Francis will use in his Sept. 23 outdoor Mass on the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception , overlooking the Catholic University campus. And they had about two weeks to submit their designs, at a time when CUA students were completing course work for the semester, and seniors were preparing for graduation.

Friends and fellow architecture students Ariadne Cerritelli, Matthew Hoffman and Joseph Taylor knew the National Shrine well, from joining each other for Mass at the basilica, which adjoins the campus in Northeast Washington.

"That's how we picked our team. We go to Mass together, we pray together," said Cerritelli, a 24-year-old Bethesda resident. "When we chose to work as a team, (we decided) to do it in faith."


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In US workshop, an altar for Pope Francis takes shape

From: AFP Date: Aug. 18, 2015


The altar's design is the result of a competition among students at the Catholic University of America (CUA), next door to the basilica, that involved 18 teams.

It salutes the Argentine pontiff's Jesuit background, with four columns to signify the four vows taken by members of the Society of Jesus.

Together those four columns create three arches, representing the Holy Trinity. A removal stone slab will rest on top of the altar.

"To be honest, all of our inspiration came right from the basilica," said Joe Taylor, 23, a member of the winning team who has just graduated from CUA's architecture program.

"We took a really contextualist approach," he told AFP. "We wanted to design an altar that looked like it belonged to the basilica and had always been there."

That's just as well, because plans call for the altar to remain a permanent fixture of the basilica, built in the Byzantine-Romanesque style, after the papal visit.


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Deacon in Maryland builds altar for Papal Mass

From: WJLA Date: Aug. 17, 2015 Author: Suzanne Kennedy

Three Catholic University students designed the furniture which will be put on permanent display at the Basilica after the September mass.

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Altar for Pope Francis Being Built in Maryland From Students' Design

From: NBC4 (also picked up nationally by NBC affiliates) Date: Aug. 17, 2015 Author: Chris Gordon

Altar for DC papal visit under construction

From: WUSA9 Date: Aug. 17, 2015 Author: Hank Silverberg

Peruano elabora altar para canonización de un misionero español en EEUU

From: AP Date: Aug. 17, 2015 Author: Luis Alonso Lugo


Los muebles para la misa de canonización fueron diseñados por tres estudiantes de la Catholic University of America, incluyendo a la neoyorquina de madre española Ariadne Cerritelli, como parte de un concurso convocado por la Arquidiócesis de Washington y la facultad de arquitectura de ese centro de estudios.

El jurado evaluó un total de 18 propuestas de diseño.

Cerritelli dijo a AP que su diseño pone mucho énfasis en la sencillez, para que coincida con el mensaje general del papa Francisco de renunciar a los lujos para ayudar a los desposeídos.

"Cuando vea mi altar en esta misa para canonizar a un santo español, aquí en Estados Unidos, será un gran honor", agregó la arquitecta de 24 años, cuya madre madrileña emigró a Estados Unidos a los 30 años de edad.


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Md. Preps Underway For Pope's Visit To The Nation's Capital

From: CBS Baltimore Date: Aug. 17, 2015 Author: Marcus Washington...

Students from Catholic University's school of architecture designed the furnishings for the pope's visit.


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Building second papal altar is work of faith for deacon

From: Catholic Standard (picked up by Catholic News Service) Date: Aug. 11, 2015 Author: Mark Zimmermann...

The altar was designed by Catholic University architecture students Ariadne Cerriteli, Matthew Hoffman and Joseph Taylor, and it will be used in the National Shrine afterward. When completed, the altar will be 8 feet wide by 4 feet, 4 inches deep, and 3 feet, 5 inches tall.


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