Rector’s Dinner 2019
Everything was in place for the 27th Annual Rector’s Dinner. On May 9th, the entire house of more than 200 seminarians along with student priests were ready to serve greet, plate, pour, direct, sing, pray, MC, and otherwise enjoy another remarkable evening on behalf of the many benefactors—lay and clerical alike—who make their seminary possible.
The seminary is primarily a place for prayer, study, and formation, but for the men who spend four to five years abroad it is also a new home, and the dinner is a privileged opportunities to show that home to others. Alexander Pince ’21 (Venice in Florida) shared his reflections at this year’s dinner on how he realized College had truly become a “home away from home” for him this past year. For him, the realization came after he had the opportunity to introduce his visiting family to Rome and the College community.
Then the evening turned to its present guests and its main focus—recognizing the 2019 Rector’s Award Honorees. Present to be honored were Mr. and Mrs. George Strake, Jr., who are longtime benefactors of the College from Texas. Mr. Strake humbly took the opportunity remember his father—the man who financed the Vatican’s Scavi excavations that led to the rediscovery of St. Peter’s bones—and to trace the providential route that led to him to be able to continue to support the College and the greater Church through the blessings he has received.
The other recipient of the reward was His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo ’76, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston. His remarks were read by the Rector, Fr. Peter Harman because Cardinal DiNardo is recovering from a stroke he suffered during a Lenten Stations of the Cross service. While expressing his sincere regrets for not being able to come, he offered his gratitude to Fr. Harman for his leadership, and to the Strakes for the generous legacy, especially in light of how the past year has “increased the spotlight on the importance of formation of holy and healthy priests equipped with the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral maturity to shepherd and serve the people of God with zeal, humility, and integrity.”
As the guests departed after a long evening, the seminarians rapidly reverted the gala venue – the Refectory – to its previous status as their home’s dining room. Ad Multos Annos!