Dinner raises $1.2 million to support priests
By Donis TracyPilot Correspondent
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley delivers his remarks at the annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner. "Some of the greatest people that I know have been Catholic priests," he said. "Our priests love their people with a shepherd's love," he said. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
"We need to start saving, to ensure the future for all the men who have walked the walk," he said. "They are there to serve God and to serve us."
Following the meal, a short video was played featuring five archdiocesan priests: Fathers Henry Jennings, Michael Harrington, William Dunn, Jeremy St. Martin and James DiPerri as they spoke of their experiences of the priesthood. Interspersed were quotes from St. John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests.
Keynote speaker Don Rodman spoke of the impact priests have had on his life.
The businessman said that, despite the fact that he is Jewish, he realized his life "has been positively impacted by priests."
Beginning in 1979, when he was first invited to a Catholic Charities fundraising event, he has been a board member of the organization, he said.
"There is no individual that I am aware of who volunteers more hours" than a Catholic priest, he said. "The priesthood is an answering to a call -- not just an initial call to enter the seminary but a constant call."
"All of you who are here this evening are performing a mitzvah," he said, referring to the Hebrew term for a worthy deed. "How blessed am I to be here."
Cardinal O'Malley rounded out the evening's speakers. He spoke of own experiences -- of being an altar server as a young boy, of feeling the call to the priesthood as a young man.
"Some of the greatest people that I know have been Catholic priests," he said. "Our priests love their people with a shepherd's love."
"What a wonderful support for priests," Vicar General Msgr. Robert Deeley told The Pilot. "You can see how joyful and hopeful this evening is, as we come together and deal with the problem of clergy funds."
"It's wonderful when any group gets together to celebrate priests and the priesthood," echoed Bishop Robert Hennessey, auxiliary bishop of Boston. "The priests of the archdiocese of Boston feel loved and honored tonight."
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