Solemn Pontifical High Mass: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (approximately)

Join us for the first-ever Mass of the Americas in the Extraordinary Form, celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. Richard Sparks, Conducting.

The Mass of the Americas, commissioned by the Benedict XVI Institute from our distinguished composer-in-residence Frank La Rocca is an intertwined tribute to Our Lady under her titles Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (patroness of the United States) and Our Lady of Guadalupe (patroness of Mexico and All the Americas).

Originally celebrated in the ordinary form on December 8, 2018, at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, the Mass of the Americas is moving through the great churches and cathedrals as part of an International Marian Unity Tour: San Francisco, Tijuana, Dallas, Houston, Mexico City, Rome, and Washington D.C.

The November 16 Mass of the Americas will be broadcast by EWTN. A private VIP reception will follow, hosted by The Catholic University of America’s Rome School of Music, Drama and Art.


Praise for the Mass of the Americas:

“This is what a flourishing religious culture looks like—piety being lifted up and sublimated in the actual liturgy of the Church.” Poet and Prof. James Matthew Wilson

“The great Catholic tradition is alive and well and is only waiting for courageous pastoral leadership and visionary patronage to continue its great story where it belongs: in the bosom of the Church.”  Composer and Prof. Mark Nowakowski


Afternoon Events for the Public: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (approximately)

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Private VIP Reception at Caldwell Auditiorium, CUA – By Invitation Only


2:00- 3:15 p.m. Keynote: The Making of the Mass of the Americas: A Conversation with Composer Frank La Rocca, Conductor Richard Sparks, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

Moderator: Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw, Dean of CUA’s Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art.


3:30-5 p.m. Three Workshops with the Masters: Poetry, Singing, Painting

Come and share poetry with the man Dana Gioia calls “the Future of Catholic Letters in America.” James Matthew Wilson is an award-winning poet, poetry editor of Modern Age, distinguished scholar/philosopher of art, and Villanova professor. His latest book is The River of the Immaculate Conception, a song cycle commemorating the Mass of the Americas.

Restricted entry: to request attendance, email

Richard Sparks is the principal conductor of “The Benedict Sixteen,” the Benedict XVI Institute’s sixteen-voice professional choir. He founded Seattle Pro Musica, was the principal conductor of the Pacific Northwest Bach Festival, led the Choir of the West from 1983-2001, and conducted the Seattle Symphony Chorale for nine recordings on the Delos label including a Grammy-nominated recording of Hanson’s Lament for Beowulf. Sparks was invited to work with the famed Swedish Radio Choir in 2002, 2007 and 2008, including preparing the Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem for a performance with Valery Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which is on DVD with BIS Records.

Richard Spark’s latest book, The Conductor’s Toolbox: Transforming Yourself as Musician and Conductor, can be found at GIA Music.  [Approximately one-hour]

Grab some paint and watch and learn as one of the finest young sacred artists teaches a hands-on workshop in painting. Bring your paints and canvas or use ours!

Andrew de Sa is a classically trained painter in the Boston School tradition under master painter Paul Ingbretson. His paintings were finalists both at the 89th National Exhibition of the American Artists Professional League and the 84th International Exhibition of Fine Art in the Miniature. He serves as an Arts Ambassador for The Catholic University of America and on the Benedict XVI Council for Liturgy and the Arts.

5:15-6:30 p.m. The Vision of the Soul: A Conversation with Artists and Philosophers of Art

James Matthew Wilson, poet, Villanova University

Prof. Robert Edward Gordon, The American Culture and Ideas Initiative, College of Fine Arts, University of Arizona

Prof. Sara Pecknold, clinical professor of Sacred Music, Catholic University of America

Andrew de Sa, painter


6:30 to 7 p.m. Book Signing: The River of the Immaculate Conception with poet James Matthew Wilson