He said the dinner guests could agree on the need to support disadvantaged children.
"We can also agree on the need to stand up to anti-Catholic bias, to defend religious liberty and to create a culture that celebrates life," he said. "America is in many ways divided like it's never been before. And the great religious leaders here tonight give us all an example that we can follow."
Clinton, who went second, joked about her "rigorous nap schedule," the fees she normally charges for speeches, and the incongruity that a dinner named for the populist Al Smith is held in "this magnificent room, full of plutocrats celebrating his legacy."
She also joked that Trump would rate the Statue of Liberty based on her looks, that he was following a teleprompter script written by the Russians, that he was not really a billionaire, and that was not getting support from the Republican Party.
"I understand I am not known for my sense of humor," Clinton said. "That's why it did take a village to write these jokes."
"And whoever wins this election, the outcome will be historic. We'll either have the first female president or the first president who started a Twitter war with Cher," she said.
Clinton said that opponents of Al Smith's candidacy targeted him for his Catholic faith and spread rumors he would ban Bible reading and annul Protestant marriages.
"Rhetoric like that makes it harder for us to see each other, to respect each other, to listen to each other. And certainly a lot harder to love our neighbor as ourselves," she said, adding "you certainly don't need to be Catholic to be inspired by the humility and heart of the Holy Father, Pope Francis. Or to embrace his message."
The next day, Cardinal Dolan told TODAY that the two candidates are "kind of awkward together" but said it was not a surprise. He said there was similar "iciness" four years ago when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama
"The purpose of the evening is to break some of the ice, and thanks be to God, it works," the cardinal said.
The dinner is a fundraiser for New York Catholic Charities. This year's event netted about $6 million.
(Story continues below)
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Kevin J. Jones is a senior staff writer with Catholic News Agency. He was a recipient of a 2014 Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship.