Rector’s Dinner 2017
It was, in the words of the Rector, the Very Rev. Peter Harman, with a “righteous pride” in their home that the seminarians, priests, and staff of the North American College welcomed more than 400 guests to the 25th annual Rector’s Dinner, this past April 27th.
Each year the Rector’s Dinner acknowledges the generosity of the College’s benefactors and supporters, and gives guests a chance to see the life of the College close-up. Hundreds of seminarians bustling about to direct traffic, entertaining with live music, and serving a hearty Italian dinner all goes to make a tangible expression of gratitude for the blessing of living, praying and studying at the College.
After dinner, the Rector recognized this year’s recipients of the Rector’s Award, given in recognition of support of priestly vocations. Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Linda Weber, who provide for the seminarians’ annual silent retreats and Italian language studies, thanked the seminarians for responding to the Lord’s call and encouraged the men in formation to persevere, despite the hostilities facing them in contemporary culture.
For Bishop James F. Checchio of the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, the other recipient of the Award, this year’s Dinner was a welcome home. After serving as Rector himself for the past decade, Bishop Checchio joked that he could finally enjoy the evening himself. Noting the profound impact of his own formation in Rome on his life as a priest, Bishop Checchio encouraged the current seminarians to let themselves to be formed after Christ’s own heart into holy priests.
For the seminarians serving the Dinner, it was an uplifting evening—an opportunity to feel the support of the Church back home and be inspired by other examples of generosity for the Lord and His Church.