By Maria Rodriguez
Vice President Joseph Biden, Supreme Court Justices, and dignitaries will celebrate the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday, February 20th.
The mass will be celebrated by Justice Scalia’s son, Reverend Paul Scalia, who is based in the Archdiocese of Arlington. Rev. Scalia will also give the homily.
Justice Scalia, who served on the high court for nearly 30 years, was found dead last weekend at a rural hunting lodge in Texas. Scalia, a devout Catholic, he was one of the most Conservative voices of the Supreme Court, strongly opposing abortion and same-sex marriage.
Scalia has visited and lectured at the Columbus School of Law numerous times over the years. Scalia was awarded the Cardinal James Gibbons Medal by the Alumni Association in 1994; this is the association’s highest honor. Five years later, Scalia was awarded a second time by the university with an honorary degree.
“His death diminishes by one strong voice our commitment to constitutional democracy,” wrote John Garvey, President of Catholic University, in a column for the Catholic News Service this week.
In an email sent to the university community, the public affairs office warned students that parking over the weekend would be limited as a result of Scalia’s funeral.
This is the second event in the academic year through which national recognition has been brought to the university.
“Everyone from my hometown is texting me, like, geez you’re having a crazy year at Catholic,” said Kristin Connolly, a freshman Elementary Education major.
Despite recognition of Scalia’s importance some students showed little interest in the funeral.
“I didn’t really know that the funeral would be happening here at the Basilica until yesterday,” said Imani Kersey, Senior International Business and Spanish for International Service double major.
Despite lack of interest in the event, Scalia’s status was noted by the students.
“It’s really cool that someone of such high status is having a funeral here, so close to our campus,” said Kersey.
“It’s always good to see, as a Catholic, someone that high up in the government,” said Matthew Skros, Sophomore Political Science Major, commenting on Scalia’s importance.
Students appreciated the closeness of the Basilica as a major Catholic institution and a draw for large events.
“It’s good that we’re having the funeral here, since it’s kind of the center of Christianity, at least in North America,” said Skros.
No further information has yet been announced by either the university or the Basilica in regards to the funeral.