CUA has plenty of organizations and programs to pump students with school spirit and the thrills of living in Washington, D.C., but none other than the House has made such an incredible impact. Developed off-campus by a group of students living together to serve as a Christian community, the House grew to encompass a great deal of campus responsibility. The House combines social events with spiritual experiences; it encourages students to evaluate their faiths and to concentrate on being people of integrity.
The House consists of a small group of students who live together and minister to those living on-campus. It has been around for about twenty five years, but has been an on-campus organization only for the past ten years. In 1987, when the House was still off-campus, CUA planned to tear down the building in which it was fostered. The House was too important a group to sacrifice just because of a desire to revamp the area around campus by demolishing buildings; students believed that the House was worth saving, if not as a building, but as the group of values it had begun to incorporate in CUA life.
Students from various groups came together to discuss the future of the House in 1987 and decided that the University would create a new space on or off campus for the organization to continue its services to CUA students. The concept of student ministering was important at the time because students, as they do still today, wanted to choose for themselves how deeply to involve themselves in a Christian spiritual life without the pressure of adult clergy; the House encompassed all that was The Catholic University of America in its identity and values at the college level.
Today the House resides on-campus and has led CUA students in Christian worship and chemical-free social activities. The outreach to students has increased in the past ten years because of its on-campus location and total accessibility to all types of students. Now the House provides a vast array of programs, such as retreats, regular masses, service activities, prayer groups, and random Krispy Kreme runs. If the House had ceased to exist when its original building was torn down, the University most definitely would have suffered because its students would not receive the student ministering and support they would need to uphold the integral values of CUA. The House, therefore, has made a deep impact on The Catholic University of America, and its Christian values and ideals have helped to develop students into respectable and remarkable contributors to campus and beyond.
By: Tirzah O’Beirne