CUA stude nts and alumni provided reactions to many media outlets following the visit of Pope Francis to CUA on Sept. 23. See below. Stories featuring students and alumni also ran in and .

Saint Junipero Serra's canonization an 'exciting time to be a Catholic'

From: Catholic News Agency/EWTN News Date: Sept. 28, 2015 Author: Adelaide Mena

Gina, a Catholic University of America junior helping direct the crowds at Mass, told CNA "it was incredible" to be able to serve in that capacity. "It was just amazing to help out people and helping at Communion. Being next to the Eucharist was incredible for me."

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Grad Students at Catholic University of America Share Reactions to Pope's Visit to Their Campus, Before and After

From: Zenit Date: Sept. 24, 2015 Author: Deborah Castellano Lubov

In the wake of having hosted Pope Francis at Catholic University of America for the Canonization Mass of Junipero Serra, some of the university's graduate students have given ZENIT a closer look at what was going on behind the scenes and what their reactions have been to Francis' visit, before and after.

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Catholic University students and faculty moved and challenged by Pope Francis

From: Catholic World Report Date: Sept. 24, 2015 Author: Sophia Feingold


Isabella Bogdanos, a sophomore at CUA , is confident that she will remember the occasion. Having served as a volunteer at the papal Mass, Bogdanos says that she is "still trying to process the magnitude of it all.

"Reading what Pope Francis says in the papers, or even seeing Pope Francis on TV does not do him justice. He is a man of all the people, and I think that finally became clear to me when I saw him speak live. Because when he speaks-his hand gestures, his deliverance, his shifting tones of voice-these are the things that show his passion and his love for everyone. He is not tele-prompted; he is a humbling man who-I believe-speaks from the heart. And that to me in anyone (in a friend, in a leader, in a Pope, or in a politician) is rare. Just being a part of this, even if it was only for a day, will forever be etched in my heart, and in the hearts of all who attended."

Andrew Calis, an English graduate student , was also moved by the pope's demeanor. "He didn't act like a celebrity-although some members of the audience certainly treated him like one. And he genuinely smiled in his unrecorded conversations with Cardinal Wuerl. I definitely didn't expect to be moved by the sight of the Popemobile, but I was. Despite the chaos and the crowds and the noise and the phones, when he blessed the crowd or even waved, it felt personal, like he actually saw me. I found myself waving back half-unaware."

Calis added that he thinks the papal visit "will spark good conversations on campus about openly evangelizing. Since it's a Catholic campus, evangelizing isn't always on the minds of the students-at least in my case-but his call to go forward and spread the good news will hopefully apply not only on our campus but in our community as well."

Phillip Henderson, a fellow English graduate student , was struck by Pope Francis's focus on Junípero Serra's joyful example. "The word [the pope] repeated again and again was 'alegria'; the Christian is filled with joy by virtue of the news which he has received in the Gospel, and he desires to share that joy with the whole world."

Graduate student Mary Cuff is a veteran of nine previous papal Masses, but says that this one stood out. Calling the Pope's presence on campus "both surreal and very natural," she observed that at all the other papal events, she went to the pope. For this event, "he was coming to me ... driving past buildings that I have had classes in, along sidewalks I walk on every day, and having Mass on steps that I have sat on and thought about life. It was strange to hop on the metro and just go home afterwards."


Benjamin Block , a graduate student in the School of Philosophy, noted the criticisms of Fr. Serra, citing in response the collect for the new saint's feast: "Grant by his intercession that we may so join our hearts to you in love, as to carry always and everywhere before all people the image of your Only Begotten Son."

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South River native sings for Pope Francis

From: Date: Sept. 24, 2015 Author: Cheryl Makin

SOUTH RIVER Between wishing each other "Happy Pope Day" and feeling "incredibly blessed," Katelyn Hannel and her friends from Catholic University of America spent Wednesday in a state of euphoria. An alumni member of the CUA Chamber Choir, Hannel had the honor of singing for Pope Francis on his first full day in the U.S. at the outdoor Mass at the National Shrine. The 28-member choir was one of five choirs chosen to sing for the papal visit to Washington, D.C.

"There was so much excitement in the air as I was walking around the grounds of campus and talking to people in the hours before the Mass," said Hannel, a former South River resident who recently moved to Falls Church, Virginia, to take a position as an elementary school music teacher. "It just felt like we all knew that it was a special day. We were all excited. And I loved being able to share it with the people around me. The whole day was all the more special being able to share it with this community of colleagues and friends who have been with me in my years at CUA. It created a great sense of togetherness."

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Local woman sings joyfully for the Pope

From: The Catholic Free Press Date: Sept. 24, 2015 Author: Susan Bailey

... "When it was first announced that the pope would be coming to CUA, I texted my dad in Worcester and he responded by saying 'You'll be singing a solo for him, I assume.' Of course he was joking, but I never imagined that I'd actually get the chance to be up there singing with the choir. When we heard over the summer that the chamber choir would be singing for the pope, I was overjoyed. Our choir consists of 28 of the top singers in our program including undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, and faculty," says Ms. Kearney. ...

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Fresno Woman Plays Organ for Pope

From: KMPH 26 Date: Sept. 24, 2015

Most in the massive crowd Wednesday were there to celebrate mass but a Fresno woman was there to serve at something she calls the chance of a lifetime.

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Papal Mass brings Chesterfield County woman to tears

From: WMC Date: Sept. 24, 2015 Author: Chris Thomas


"So we would put up the umbrella just to make sure everyone would know where to go and where to form a line," Catholic U student and Deacon escort Maribel Okiye says.

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Paterson company restores St. Patrick's pipe organs for Pope's visit

From: Date: Sept. 24, 2015 Author: Antoinette Rainone

When the restoration began on St. Patrick Cathedral's Kilgen organs in 2012, the time frame was set: The work would be completed by the fall of 2015. No one knew at the time that the organ's debut would coincide with a visit from Pope Francis himself.


John III and Frank Peragallo - who studied cabinet making and creates the organ layout drawing, casework and structural details - currently head the company and are joined by their sons, Anthony and John IV - members of fourth generation of the Peragallo family. Janine, a graphic design graduate of Marywood University, heads the advertising department and Frank Jr. is active in the maintenance department. Anthony Peragallo, a graduate of Montclair State University, is a fabricator and woodworker. John IV, a graduate of The Catholic University of America with a Masters in Architectural Design in Sacred Space and Cultural Studies, is involved in the pre-design aspects of the organ building process.


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Pope Francis Meets With President, Celebrates Mass In Washington

From: CBS 3 Philadelphia Date: Sept. 23, 2015 Author: Todd Quinones


Luke Bader of Delaware County is a senior at the Catholic University of America were the mass was held.

CBS 3 Eyewitness News asked him how Pope Francis is connecting to his generation."I think that he's really helping the younger generation who may be a little bit more socially liberal instead of the older generation who might be a little bit conservative. I think he's giving us an outlet to try and channel our Catholicism," said Bader.

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Aiken High School grads and other locals attend papal mass, events in Washington, D.C.

From: Aiken Standard Date: Sept. 23, 2015 Author: Bill Bengtson

At least two graduates of Aiken High School have been among local representatives attending a papal Mass in Washington, D.C., this week, with Pope Francis making his first visit to the United States, also having Philadelphia and New York City on his agenda.

Will Frei, a 2011 graduate of Aiken High, graduated in May from Catholic University of America, with a bachelor's degree in philosophy, and lives in a seminary near that university, in the nation's capital, as he studies philosophy at the graduate level, looking to become a priest. He attended the papal Mass held Wednesday, outdoors at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.


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Papa canoniza a Junípero Serra pese a críticas de indígenas

From: AP (via El Caribe) Date: Sept. 23, 2015

La orquesta sinfónica de la Catholic University of America, bajo la dirección de Simeone Tartaglione, interpretó durante la ceremonia piezas seleccionadas específicamente para ilustrar la vida de Serra, incluyendo algunas de Manuel de Zumaya, uno de los más reconocidos compositores mexicanos de la era colonial.

Grayson Wagstaff, director del Centro de Música Latinoamericana en ese centro de estudios, adelantó hace días que la interpretada durante la misa "es el tipo de música que Serra habría escuchado cuando viajó a Ciudad de México y luego pudo haber llevado consigo a California cuando fundó las misiones".

La ceremonia también incluyó canciones creadas específicamente para la canonización por Leo Nestor, director de la coral de Catholic University of America.

El altar que usó el papa durante la misa fue elaborado por el carpintero peruano Carlos Hernández, siguiendo planos elaborados por tres estudiantes de la Catholic University of America, incluyendo a la neoyorquina de madre española Ariadne Cerritelli.

Los tres estudiantes se impusieron entre 18 propuestas presentadas a un concurso convocado por la Arquidiócesis de Washington y la facultad de arquitectura de ese centro de estudios.


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Pope has rock star status with fans and security

From: Star Gazette Date: Sept. 21, 2015

WASHINGTON (WVEC) -- Students at the Catholic University of America sound like they are talking about a rock star.

"Yay, Pope is coming! I have a ticket, standing room only! I'm there," said Desiree Chapelle.

Her classmate Scott Cummings said even though he's not Catholic he gets the excitement around pope Francis' arrival on campus.


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