Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) was the beneficiary of the Catholic University of America’s Annual Christmas Concert for Charity, which took place on Friday night, Dec. 1, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. CCUSA was chosen by CUA as this year’s recipient in order to support CCUSA’s hurricane relief efforts in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Valencio Jackson, a Catholic University doctoral student in composition from the Virgin Islands, premiered his composition, titled “Hush,” based on the text of Isaac Watts’s “Cradle Hymn,” during the concert. Jackson is from St. Croix, where Hurricane Maria unleashed extensive damage on his family’s home. He thought his composition would tie in well with CCUSA’s relief efforts.
Representing CCUSA at the concert was Steve Bogus, vice president of corporate and foundation giving for CCUSA. In a brief address to the assembly, Bogus talked about CCUSA’s commitment to help people recover from disasters by providing both immediate and long-term assistance. He encouraged those gathered to share in CCUSA’s work through a donation.
Msgr. John Enzler, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, also addressed the concertgoers, telling them that Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, would match all donations made at the concert that night up to $25,000.
The concert included performances by the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine, the Catholic University Chamber Choir, the University Singers, and the CUA Symphony Orchestra conducted by Timothy McDonnell, director of choral activities and the Institute of Sacred Music, and Allan Laino, director of the University Singers.