The Catholic University of America


Baccalaureate Mass

4 p.m., Friday, May 16, 2014 Great Upper Church, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

   Related Links

> Video of Baccalaureate Mass

> 2013 Baccalaureate Mass Homily

The student procession for the Baccalaureate Mass will form at 3:30 p.m. in front of McMahon Hall and move promptly down "senior walk" at 3:40 p.m. Candidates for degrees will not genuflect in the aisle as they will be directed to their seats by ushers from the Division of Student Affairs. In case of inclement weather students proceed directly to Memorial Hall, lower level of the basilica, to form the procession. Students are asked to wear their academic gowns, without hoods.

It should be noted that the Baccalaureate Mass is typically close to standing room only, so parents and friends who plan to attend should take their seats as soon as possible after 2:30 p.m.  No seating will be allowed in the Basilica for the Mass prior to 2:30 p.m. in order to accommodate those attending the Honors Convocation for Undergraduates.

His Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, will be the principal celebrant and homilist.


 Commencement Choir

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,


We invite the entire CUA community of graduating bachelors, masters, doctors, along with all friends and classmates of our graduates, extending a special invitation to members of the CUA faculty and staff, to be a part of the Commencement Choir and to sing at the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, 16 May at 4 pm in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica.


If you wish to give thanks to God for the CUA years and our formative experiences here in our respective disciplines, for our friendships, our growth in faith, and to do so in the context of the Mass; if you’ve had memorable experiences singing in choirs, whether

here at CUA, in the community, in high school or during academic studies elsewhere, we invite you to make music with us at this Mass of Thanksgiving. All of us, students, faculty and staff, gather to celebrate the happy conclusion of the academic year and to pray for all graduates receiving their degrees in 2014.


Each year the Commencement Choir grows in number and beauty. We hope you will join us for this year’s celebration and make your decision today.


The university makes provision for students who sing in Commencement Choir to stay on campus during Senior Week. We will need to know if you plan to “sing and stay” immediately. If you are a student living on campus and not a senior, please send your name and student ID number to Lee Polites in the School of Music office (


The three rehearsals have been scheduled so as not to conflict with university-wide activities. The music is beautiful and not difficult. As has become our tradition, we will be joined by members of the phenomenal Washington Symphonic Brass.


Rehearsal Schedule


In John Paul Rehearsal Room, Ward Hall, School of Music

Monday, 12 May, 12-2 pm Tuesday, 13 May, 12-2 pm Wednesday, 14 May, 12-2 pm

Dress Rehearsal: The Great Upper Church of the Basilica

Thursday, 15 May, 1-4 pm


Baccalaureate Mass


Friday, 16 May, The Great Upper Church of the Basilica

Eucharistic Liturgy at 4:00 pm; 3:00 pm rehearsal in Visitor Center, Crypt Level


Please bring a black three-ring binder and pencil to our first rehearsal on Monday, 12

May at noon in John Paul Rehearsal Hall, located on the second floor of Ward Hall.


Please indicate your intent to sing with Commencement Choir by sending your name and contact information to Hannah Levetzow at


Please feel free to address any other questions to us. Blessings.

Leo Nestor, D.M.A.                                               Kevin M. O’Brien, DMA

Justine Bayard Ward Professor                                                  Lecturer of Music

Director, Institute of Sacred Music                                            Conductor, CUA Women’s Chorus

Director of Choral Studies                                                           Conductor, Town & Gown Community Chorus                                                                                                 



School of Music Office: 202-319-5414