September 15, 2016

The Catholic University of America has opened the Center for Cultural Engagement, a center created to facilitate cross-cultural communication, awareness, and appreciation on campus.

The grand opening was led by Mike Allen, vice president for student affairs, who introduced to the campus community Ferentz Lafargue, director of the center. Lafargue stated that the mission of the Center for Cultural Engagement is to help students develop a sense of self, a sense of place, and a sense of responsibility, in order to answer the big questions:  Who am I? Where am I? What am I called to do? He said these are questions that are deeply rooted in the University’s mission.

President John Garvey highlighted the importance of a cultural dialogue inspired by the story of Pentecost in which “the Apostles were able to use the language, images, and expressions bound to different cultures to preach the Gospel because the same truth can have many expressions.” Garvey accentuated the value of diversity and of this center at Catholic University, noting that “no single cultural can encapsulate or perfectly express all truth. By engaging and promoting dialogue between the many cultural perspectives represented at The Catholic University of America, the Center for Cultural Engagement will enrich our vision of the human person, history, creation, and the Creator.”

The opening of the Center for Cultural Engagement also featured a blessing by Father Jude DeAngelo, O.F.M. Conv., University chaplain and director of campus ministry, and some heartfelt words by Jenai Bell, a psychology senior student who acts as the intercultural programs student coordinator.

“I would just like to encourage everyone, especially the first years, to not only get involved and attend the events we have planned for you all, but to also take advantage of the opportunities to influence the growth of this office,” said Bell.