Catholic University of America (CUA) is preparing for the visit of Pope Benedict with intense preparation, banner-making, and prayer vigils, according to a press release from the university.
On Monday, students met at the Office of Campus Ministry in Caldwell Hall at 8 p.m. to walk through campus praying the rosary.
Tuesday night, students will make banners to welcome the Pope.
On Wednesday, there will be an all-night prayer vigil on the university campus, including confessions and all-night Eucharistic adoration. The writings of Pope Benedict will be read each hour on the hour.
Pope Benedict will visit the nearby Basilica National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday afternoon, where he will address the Catholic bishops of the United States. Several thousand CUA alumni, staff, and students are expected to greet the Pope during his arrival and departure from the National Shrine.
The Pope will visit the university campus after his 10 a.m. Wednesday Mass at Nationals Park. Students can watch the Mass on a JumboTron erected near the Columbus School of Law, and several thousand students are expected to greet the Pope when he arrives at the Pryzbyla Center to address Catholic educators and diocesan leaders.
Seventeen CUA students have rehearsed two pieces of music, “Laudes regiae: Christus Vincit” and “Tu es Petrus,” to perform for the Pope at the Pryzbyla Center.
The Pope’s talk will be streamed live on CNA.
After his talk, Pope Benedict’s will travel via popemobile to the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center to meet with leaders of other religions. His route through the CUA campus will be lined with thousands of well-wishers.
Due to security and logistical concerns, the university has cancelled most of its Wednesday classes and all of its Thursday classes.
A special media center has been established on campus to accommodate journalists. Thirteen media satellite trucks are already parked on campus.