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The Curious ‘Cat: “What brings you to the Library today?”

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “What brings you to the Library today?

RS9964_DSC_0297-scrJamie Silk—“I usually come to the Library in between classes. I feel like it’s easy to get stuff done when it’s nice and quiet, especially today since it’s raining. Sometimes I’ll sit on a bench outside the Library [because] the atmosphere here is nice … nice place to study, either with friends or by myself.”






Rachel Lavelle—“I’m studying for a quiz that I have in 15 minutes. ”











John DiValerio—“I’m just hanging out: doing some homework, doing some research. It’s a rainy day, and I didn’t want to leave the Library ‘cause I have a class downstairs. So I decided to stay put.”








Chelsey Hanson
—“I’m studying for an exam. And I like that there’s a lot of people in here because that kind of helps me focus, in a weird way. I like being around a lot of people when I study.”








Gaurav Goel—“I don’t often come to the Library, but sometimes I need some stimulation. It’s a good place for stimulation, seeing different people and especially when I have classes on Mondays and Tuesdays … I’m doing a master’s course here. It’s a good time to meet people, meet with my fellow people who are working … it’s that push … towards an accomplishment.”




Nick Schultz—“I like to use the Library for a place to actually get some work done. I live off campus, so doing work a home becomes tough whenever all the roommates are home; it can be loud. Being here—this place urges you to get more work done.”


‘Caturday: Pope Francis Draws Wildcats from Near and Far

Wildcats are traveling from the suburbs and cities to participate in the World Meeting of Families and to see Pope Francis this weekend. Here’s one Wildcat’s-eye view of the train station activity in Paoli, PA, one of two SEPTA regional rail stations on the Paoli Thorndale line that will accept passengers with special passes to Philadelphia today and tomorrow. We hope everyone enjoys the Francis Festival and the address by Pope Francis at Independence Hall!

Read all of our Pope Francis and World Meeting of Families blogs that were published this week.

Pope Paoli train



















The Catholic Church’s World Meeting of Families: a retrospective



There is a palpable buzz about the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Philadelphia September 22 to 27. Not just because of the disruption to a typical week at Villanova University and the numbers of anticipated pilgrims from around the world to the region, but because this is truly a historical event with an interesting past.



Vatican Pope Babies

Here is a list of the 8 WMOFs showing the location city, year, theme, and a fun fact:

· World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families (Rome: 1994) “Family: Heart of the Civilization of Love.” Part of the International Year of the Family, and occasion for Letter to Families from St. Pope John Paul II

· World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families (Rio de Janeiro: 1997) “The Family: Gift and Commitment, Hope for Humanity.” Like other WMOFs, it was in conjunction with an international theological-pastoral congress, this time resulting in The Rio Declaration on the Family.

· World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families (Rome: 2000) “Children, springtime of the family and society.” WMOF 2000 was a part of the larger celebration the Jubilee of Families.

· World Meeting of the Families (Manila: 2003) “The Christian Family: good news for the Third Millennium.” St. Pope John Paul II’s speech was streamed live to the event from Rome since the Pope was too ill to attend in person.

· World Meeting of the Families (Valencia: 2006) “The Transmission of Faith in the Family.” WMOFs include preparatory catecheses, reflections meant to teach about the purpose of the meeting.

· World Encounter of Families (Mexico City: 2009) “The family, teacher in human and Christian values.” Each WMOF has a unique logo created with a specific significance in mind.

· World Meeting of Families (Milan: 2012) “The Family: work and celebration.” WMOFs are organized by The Pontifical Council for the Family, instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1981, which replaced the Committee for the Family created by Pope Paul VI in 1973.

· World Meeting of Families (Philadelphia: 2015) “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” The WMOF and Youth Congress 2015, will culminate with a papal visit by Pope Francis to the city of brotherly love as a part of his Apostolic Journey to the United States.


Article by Darren Poley, outreach librarian, theology and humanities subject specialist, and curator for the Augustinian Historical Institute.


Pope Francis: Weekend Library Hours

pope a delphia

Robert Indiana, AMOR, 1998, Polychrome aluminum painted red and blue, 72″x72″x36″, © 2015 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

For the duration of Pope Francis’ visit to the area, the regular library hours will remain unchanged.

The library will offer basic circulation services. Some processing delays may be experienced by library patrons.

Friday, Sept. 25: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 26: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.

A librarian will be on-call Friday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached via the Ask a Librarian chat on our homepage.

We will also have a librarian on call Sunday, Sept. 26, from 1 to 8 p.m., also via the Ask a Librarian chat.

Holy Grounds @ Falvey will maintain the following hours:

Friday, Sept. 25: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 27: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.




The Curious ‘Cat: What would you change? What would you keep?

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “If you could change one thing about the Library, what would it be? What about the Library do you hope never changes?

RS9938_DSC_0270-scrWilliam Turbett—“Better access to the ability to print at late times of the day: I was [in the library’s 24/7 study lounge] a week ago, it was later in the night … the rest of the Library was closed … and I realized my professor had told me I had to scan something and email it to him. I had a tough time figuring out how to do that because I had no access to the scanner and the printer at that time of night. … Printing for me is not as much of an issue; I do have a personal printer. But it doesn’t have a scanning option. The [library’s] scanner is very helpful: I use it a lot for a lot of different classes. … That is one thing I’d change: access to that in the 24-hour lounge.

“The general hours of the Library: I like that you can almost always show up here and get stuff done. The 24-hour lounge itself—that being available at all times just as a study space—helps me from time to time. I know I don’t work very well in isolated spaces; it’s cool for me if other people are around. It’s generally a place where it’s not distracting, but there are other people there and that dynamic really works well for me.”

RS9941_DSC_0273-scrCara Coalo—“More tables for studying.

“I wouldn’t want to change the café area. If anything, I’d make that bigger. That’s just because I like studying with some noise. There’s not always enough space in there.”







Srujanee Pradhan—
“I don’t think there’s anything I would change about the Library. I really like it. It’s very quiet here, so if one wants to study it can be done. And it’s also nice that there are white boards here so people can form study groups and they can work here. I really like the layout, too: The way that there’s the café, Holy Grounds, over here there’s computer labs, there’s these awesome chairs. So yeah, I don’t think there’s anything I would change.”

RS9947_DSC_0279-scrAlexus Reynolds—“The first thing I would change is the amount of [electrical] outlets and accessibility. Sometimes I have trouble finding outlets so that I can charge my devices, like my laptop and my phone.

“And then more group-study rooms because there are not that many group-study rooms. Sometimes my friends and I have a hard time finding places in the Library to do group studies.

“One thing I wouldn’t change is the Writing Center because it’s really helpful.”


Nazelie Doghramadjian—“I would say the whole thing should be 24 hours. The whole library should be 24/7, but that’s very farfetched.

“I don’t think they should ever take the Holy Grounds out. That should not cross anyone’s mind, ever.”







Sabina Williamson—“I would change—on the first floor the soft chairs don’t have any [electrical] outlets in the floor, so whenever my laptop goes dead I have to move. And I’m always so comfortable that I don’t want to move.

“I like the floor setup the way it is. I like that on the first floor I can be social with my friends and study and feel comfortable. And on the second floor there are rooms I can go into that are a little more private but I can still be social. And I like that if I am more serious about my studying I can go to the third or fourth floor.”

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Pope Francis: Family and a Frugal Table

pope francis family photo

From left to right, standing, Alberto Horacio, Jorge Mario (now Pope Francis), Oscar Adrian, Marta Regina. Seated, Maria Elena, mother Regina Maria Sivori, and father Mario Jose Francisco.

It may be hard to imagine Pope Francis as a child, answering to the name Jorge, going to school, interacting with his four siblings or dancing with friends as a young man. After his calling to serve God, he remained the friendly, approachable, and kind person who liked “to go out and meet people.”

It’s less difficult to imagine Pope Francis cooking at home or for his fellow priests. According to one article, his earliest memory of cooking involved his mother, Regina Maria Bergoglio, who was recuperating from the birth of her fifth child. She could not walk and would direct her eldest son, Jorge Mario Bergolgio, as he was then, in the preparation of veal scaloppine.

Jorge Bergoglio cooking for JesuitsHe was also known to cook for his fellow Jesuit priests, one of whom commented on his excellent rendition of paella. Dulce de leche, a dessert, is another of the Pope’s favorites. It was added to the Vatican menu for the Pope and appears in a Vatican cookbook assembled by one of the Swiss Guard. As further evidence of  his desire to “go out and meet people,” the Pope sometimes makes an appearance in the cafeteria, lunching with Vatican workers.

Although he has risen to the highest post in the Catholic church, Pope Francis remembers his own family and embraces strangers as if they were family.

Another crowd-pleasing food that Pope Francis enjoys is bagna cauda. It’s a simple recipe of olive oil, garlic, anchovies and butter that is cooked and “placed in a big pan in the center of the table for communal sharing.” According to The Catholic Beat, the Pope would sometimes visit a local nunnery to enjoy this dish served with bread or vegetables.

To honor the idea of family and its central role in the coming World Meeting of Families, and to honor the Pope’s great respect and love for his mother, I ventured to make veal scaloppine in my own kitchen. I’m sure it can’t compare to Jorge Bergoglio’s recipe, but I feel confident that Pope Francis would gladly share my family table anyway.

Veal Scaloppine

Veal scaloppine3 T. olive oil

1/2 C. flour

1 t. salt & 1/4 t. salt (measured separately)

1/2 t. pepper & 1/4 t. pepper (measured separately)

1 lb. very thin veal cutlets

1/2 stick unsalted butter, cubed

1 1/2 T. red-wine vinegar

1 1/2 T. drained small capers

2 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley

Combine flour, 1 t. salt, and 1/2 t. pepper. Pat veal dry with paper towels, then coat both sides of each piece with flour mixture. Shake to remove excess. Heat large, heavy skillet over medium high heat, then add olive oil. Cook veal cutlets in small batches. When both sides are browned and cooked through, set aside on a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Pour off excess oil from skillet, add butter. Cook butter until light brown. Add vinegar, capers, and 1/4 t. each of salt and pepper. Return veal to skillet to heat through and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with salad or vegetables. Feeds a family of 4.

Food blog written by Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator on the Communication & Service Promotion team and team leader of the Access Services team.


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Pope Francis: Where in the World?

The Pope is coming to visit us in our stomping grounds this weekend, but are you interested in familiarizing yourself with his childhood neighborhood?

Pope Francis was born in the Flores barrio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. To situate yourself geographically, check out the following maps.

argentina map

Argentina (1996) via University of Texas Libraries



Buenos Aires (1985) via University of Texas Libraries


Flores via http://www.latidobuenosaires.com/mapasfloresbarriobuenosaires.html

Flores via http://www.latidobuenosaires.com/mapasfloresbarriobuenosaires.html


Now zoom all the way to street level in the barrio of Flores!

If you’re brushed up on your Spanish, you can find a few images here and here. CNN also has an enjoyable, snappy piece on a journalist’s tour of the Pope’s hometown.

Featured Links:




http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/world_cities/buenosaires.jpg (1985)

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/americas/argentina_rel96.jpg (1996)




Resources selected by Merrill Stein, liaison librarian for geography and political science.


‘Caturday: A Nostalgic Note for Parents Weekend

Welcome, Wildcat parents and families! Take a look at the activities being offered, including the ICE Institute tour on the ground floor of Falvey! Take a walk around the library while you’re here. The recently installed Mendel exhibit is on the first floor and the Learning Commons is on the second floor.

(Events planned for Parents Weekend in 2015 might differ ever so slightly from those held in 1974.)

Parents Weekend 1974
Photo courtesy of the Villanova University Digital Library.

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The Curious ‘Cat: Almost Perfect Weather vs. Studying

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “When the weather’s this nice, how do you get your studying done?


Mikaela Yatsinko—“I lie outside … and read my work. I study outdoors.”











Paul Pergolizzi—“For me it really doesn’t matter how good the weather is. I usually just come right into the library. At the present time, it’s usually where I end up studying. … Sometimes I’ll eat outside if it’s this nice.”








Marsha Richard—“I definitely have to be organized and set a time aside to study. And when the weather is this nice, I’ll study outside if I need to … to be able to have the best of both worlds.”








Christie Leonard—“I try to study inside. It’s very tempting, going outside. I just try to push everything else out of my mind except for my work. I’ve found that writing a ‘to do’ list with check boxes to check things off really helps me. That way I can see what I’m doing, and it helps me concentrate more. I think focusing is the biggest thing.”





Michael Bigley—“I try to remain inside; it helps to keep me from distractions. But I think it’s important to enjoy the weather, so I also like to study outside.”









Molly McGuinness—“I take a lot of breaks outside. So I’ll study for an hour then I’ll go side outside with friends for fifteen minutes. … It works.”

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University Librarian Joins Day of Service Activities

Day of Service 2015 Millicent at SpArc

In her first year as University Librarian, Millicent Gaskell (back row, standing third from the right, under the banner with a heart) joins group 119 at SpArc Philadelphia as part of the St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service.

“SpArc Philadelphia is the parent company of a family of organizations that provides services to individuals with disabilities and helps them to achieve independence through choice, self-determination, inclusion and community connections.”

Photo courtesy of Villanova University.

Original caption:

“Thank you to everyone who came out to serve with us for St. Thomas of Villanova’s Day of Service. Special thanks to the brothers of Temple’s Beta Pi Phi for coming out to serve with us at SpArc Philadelphia! #syz #stvc15”

See all the 2015 Day of Service photos on Villanova University’s Storify site.


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Last Modified: September 15, 2015