A Reflection of The Franciscans’ Time on Campus

Image Courtesy of Campus Ministry

By Zachary Lichter

On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, Catholic University’s President John Garvey sent an email announcing to the CUA faculty and students that the Franciscan friars will be leaving this summer. The news about the Franciscan friars leaving comes as CUA’s contract with the Conventual Franciscans ends this summer. The Dominican Order will take over Campus Ministry, and the University will provide more information on this transition at the end of the semester. 

The Franciscans have been in charge of Campus Ministry for twenty-four years. The friars not only celebrate Mass on campus, but they also regularly attend regular events with the CUA community. 

Father Jude DeAngelo, the University chaplain, has been celebrating Mass for twelve years with his Franciscan brothers, Father Louis Smith, Father Albert Puliyadan, and Father Andrzej Brzezinski. 

“I think the thing that I’ve really enjoyed about Mass on campus is the students’ participation,” DeAngelo said. “You know that they are alive with their singing and their responses. So that’s really been a blessing. I’ve really learned that the people here take their faith seriously and that it’s a pretty faith-filled campus and a good community.”

Each of the friars runs a student organization that Campus Ministry runs. Fr. Louis is the Associate Chaplain of Faculty and Staff. He is in charge of the organization called Theotokos (Greek word for “God-bearer”), which is an organization filled with events devoted to the Virgin Mary. 

Fr. Andrzej is the Associate Chaplain of Faith Development and runs two organizations: Encounter the Spirit, an organization where students can reflect every week on Sacred Scripture and the Church’s teaching, and the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), where students who decide to convert to Catholicism begin their journey of faith and prepare to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. 

Fr. Albert is the Associate Chaplain of Liturgical Ministry. He is in charge of scheduling all altar servers, lectors, cantors, eucharistic ministers, and ushers. Finally, Fr. Jude is in charge of all organizations run by Campus Ministry and is also in charge of the Resident and House Ministers.

The Franciscans’ role on campus is one that has affected many students, causing many to already feel the hole their absence will bring.  

“As I transition to being a graduate student here at CUA, I will, of course, miss the friars’ presence on campus; you can always count on them for a pleasant hello, a great joke, or a deep conversation,” said senior history and secondary education major and theology minor Christian Bordak-Roseman. “The friars have really molded me into the person I am today, and I cannot thank them enough for it. The atmosphere of love and pastoral care that they created made me fall in love with Jesus and the Church all over again. Nevertheless, I am excited to see how the Dominicans continue this and improve CUA’s Catholic culture.”

The Franciscan friars have done a lot for the CUA community, and everyone on campus cannot thank them enough. They will surely be missed, but the CUA campus is excited to welcome the Dominicans next fall.

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