Rector’s Dinner 2018

It was a beautiful Thursday evening the twelfth day in April. The tables were set the seminarians were lined up and ready to serve as hundreds of guests poured into the Pontifical North American College for the 26th annual Rectors Dinner. Faithful benefactors, clergy and laity alike, came from far and wide to Rome to show their support for College and its mission to form men for the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
The program for the evening included a full Italian meal, musical performances, and the presentation of the Rector’s Award in gratitude for the generous support of the seminarian studying here in Rome.

This year’s recipient of the award was Mrs. Judy Barrett. The Very Reverend Peter Harman in his introduction of Mrs. Barrett, spoke of her service to her diocese of Santa Rosa in California. Among here many acts of generous service was her involvement in the Respect Life Office, where she served as director for over 20 years defending the sanctity of human life. As to her support of the College, the rector stated “for over twenty years, she has been an advocate of our mission, supporting many initiatives and projects of the college. Her friendship and generosity has benefited thousands of seminarians who have passed through these doors and now serve the Church in diocese across the United States.” In her remarks, Mrs. Barrett spoke of the importance of supporting seminarians. She said, “No priests, no sacraments. No sacraments, no Church.” And later spoke of how one priest in a lifetime effects thousands of people.

The second recipient of the Rector’s award was Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, OP. In his introductory remarks, the Rector said that the Archbishop “embodied the notion to seek and examine truth as a posit of faith among the people of God.” Father Harman spoke of the strong bond that had developed over the years through the consistent support and involvement with the College community. In his acceptance speech, Archbishop Di Noia said, “It is for the service to the holy priesthood of Jesus Christ that the College exists” and continued, saying that the fidelity and witness of the College community shows the abundant grace that God showers upon the Church, and our presence at the dinner was in gratitude for such blessings.

Following the remarks by the Archbishop, the evening concluded with the traditional singing of the Ad Multos Annos.