The Caritas Experience

Caritas is a four day music ministry and service experience for incoming Villanova students and a seven day Orientation-focused preparation program for returning Pastoral Musicians.  Led by Donald Giannella, Associate Director of Campus Ministry for Pastoral Music and Villanova JR and SR leaders, Caritas seeks to develop the spirit and skills of the Villanova Pastoral Musician, prepare repertoire for the upcoming school year, enhance camaraderie among current and new pastoral musicians, and prepare for Orientation Liturgies and a New Jersey shore performance at the end of Orientation week.

Highlights for Incoming Students

Incoming Villanova students who have prior choral and/or orchestral experience, especially connected to worship are strongly encouraged to consider this free program.  New students will move into their rooms on the weekend before the rest of the new students and will participate in skills workshops, service with Villanova’s sister parish in West Philadelphia, social activities and spiritual reflection.  They will have the choice to participate with the returning pastoral musicians for service at various Orientation Liturgies.

Highlights for Returning Students

In addition to the activities for New Students, returning students will offer a performance at the Church of the Redeemer on the beach in Longport, NJ on the Friday of Orientation Week.  This performance will include two overnights at the Beach Church as well as festive shore meals and sharing of community with local parishioners and peer participants.

The Church of the Redeemer, in gratitude for the end of the summer performance, charges admission for the concert and the proceeds support Pastoral Music activities throughout the year.

How do I get involved?

Caritas can only accept 15 new students and up to 30 returning students each year.  An application will be available online after May 15 through the Campus Ministry page of the Villanova University Website.  Applicants will be informed of their acceptance into the program by June 15. 

  1. Caritas is a FREE leadership training program for new and returning Pastoral Musicians.
  2. A place-holding deposit of $50 will be accepted for each participant, fully refunded at the end of the Caritas program.
  3. Further details about registration, responsibilities and a full-schedule will be posted at the Campus Ministry page of the Villanova University Website after the formal application becomes available.

About the Pastoral Music Ministry
Each year the Pastoral Musicians serve with between 80 and 100 student musicians.  It is the largest Roman Catholic Campus Ministry music ensemble in the United States.  More info available online or ‘like’ VILLANOVA PASTORAL MUSICIANS on Facebook.

CARITAS Registration

Fill out the Online Registration Form


Standard Schedule (Check back soon for further details)

  • Returning Student Arrival and Move-in; Evening Social Activity

  • New Student Arrival and Move-in; First Rehearsal, 8pm Mass, Social

  • Choral and Instrumental Skills workshops, rehearsals, Philly Cheesy Late-Night

  • Hand-in-Hand Service with Our Lady of Victory, our sister parish in West Philadelphia

  • Music as Service, an opportunity for reflection and renewal, final rehearsals and New-Student Commissioning Ceremony (New Students join Orientation)

  • Orientation and Performance Preparations, Orientation Mass, Depart for Longport, NJ after Mass.

  • Rehearsals, Beach-time and Concert at Longport NJ. 

  • rest day

  • Annual St. Thomas of Villanova Parish Mass Celebration, Welcome Back Brunch, New Student Mass, and Returning Students Mass

  • First rehearsal of the Fall Semester in the Church

I wept at the beauty of your hymns, and I was powerfully moved at the sweet sound of your Church's singing. Those sounds flowed into my ears, and the truth streamed into my heart.

St. Augustine:  Confessions 9,6