December 03, 2019

CatholicU and Basilica of the National Shrine Host Concert to Benefit Brothers of Charity

Musicians from The Catholic University of America join forces with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to kick off the Christmas season with the 30th Annual Christmas Concert for Charity on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Basilica, Great Upper Church.

This year the concert will benefit Brothers of Charity, an international religious congregation with a strong commitment to social issues. The Fatima Community in Washington is an inclusive community sponsored by the Brothers of Charity that was founded Oct. 12, 2017, and still continues with two resident brothers and nine guests who are experiencing homelessness. Their mission is to enable each individual member to transition from the Fatima community to again live a meaningful life in society.   

Tobias Russell, who is pursuing his master of music in composition at the University’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music Drama, and Art, will premiere a new composition titled, Nobiscum Deus.

“In writing the piece, I wanted to reflect on the humanity of the characters in the Nativity story and highlight their circumstances as related in the Gospel accounts. Mary and Joseph are described as displaying uncommon faith in the face of uncertainty, and so I tried to write those juxtaposed elements of faith and doubt into the music,” said Russell. 

The concert  will include performances by the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine, the Catholic University Chamber Choir, the University Singers, and the CUA Symphony Orchestra conducted by Timothy McDonnell, director of choral activities and the Institute of Sacred Music, and Allan Laino, director of the University Singers.

The concert is co-sponsored annually by The Catholic University of America and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The concert will air on EWTN on Dec. 25 at 9:30 a.m., 5 p.m.; Dec. 27 at 1:30 p.m.; and Dec. 29 at 1:30 p.m. (all times EST). They will also air the 2018 concert Dec. 18 at 5:30 a.m. Check local listings for more details.

All are welcome and admission is free. A free will offering will be collected during the concert for the Brothers of Charity. Free parking is available at the Basilica Harewood Road parking lot. For more information on the concert, visit the Basilica's website

MEDIA: To attend the concert or to schedule an interview, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600.