.- The Catholic cardinals of the United States raised about $1 million for the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Atlanta at the 21st American Cardinals Dinner last Friday.Held at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, the dinner was attended by about 400 guests. Its proceeds benefit CUA scholarship funds.
The event was hosted by Archbishop of Atlanta Wilton D. Gregory and Msgr. David M. O’Connell, C.M., CUA president.
Archbishop Gregory was the principal celebrant at a 4 p.m. pre-dinner Mass held at the Cathedral of Christ the King. Visiting cardinals, bishops and clergy concelebrated the liturgy and Msgr. O’Connell served as the homilist.
Fr. O’Connell said he was “so grateful” to those who attended. “Our devotion to the mission of Catholic education has never been stronger at the university. Those who attend the dinner play a vital role in advancing that mission by supporting our deserving students who wish to receive an education at one of America's premier Catholic universities," Fr. O'Connell said, according to a university press release.
Presently serving cardinals in attendance were Archbishop Francis George of Chicago, Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop of Galveston-Houston Daniel DiNardo. They are also members of the CUA Board of Trustees.
Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop emeritus of New York, and Cardinal Adam Maida, archbishop emeritus of Detroit, were present as special guests, according to CUA.
Apostolic nuncio to the United States Archbishop Pietro Sambi attended the dinner. Also present were Archbishop of Washington Donald W. Wuerl, who is CUA chancellor and an alumnus, and Archbishop of Detroit Allen H. Vigneron, chairman of the CUA Board of Trustees.
The American Cardinals Dinner, an annual black-tie event, is held in a different diocese or archdiocese each year. The 2010 dinner is the first held in Atlanta.
The event has been held in Houston, Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul and San Francisco, among other cities. Since its inauguration it has raised more than $25 million to support scholarships for CUA students.