The Catholic University of America

April 30, 2007

18th American Cardinals Dinner Raises $1.2 Million

Proceeds to Support Student Scholarships for Catholic University
Principal celebrant Bishop Joseph Pepe is surrounded by cardinals in the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The 18th American Cardinals Dinner, held April 27 in Las Vegas, raised $1.2 million for student scholarships for The Catholic University of America. Five of America's Catholic cardinals and about 500 guests attended the gala at the Four Seasons Hotel.

At the dinner, the cardinals presented the $10,000 American Cardinals Encouragement Award to Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, which has been offering a wide range of social services to the less fortunate for more than 65 years. The award recognizes faith-based initiatives that reflect Christian values.

Once again this year, CUA students played a prominent part in the program, serving as presenters and performers. At the conclusion of the dinner, Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston invited guests to attend the 19th American Cardinals Dinner, to be held in Boston on April 25, 2008.

In addition to Cardinal O'Malley, four of the seven cardinals currently serving as archbishops of U.S. dioceses attended the events, including Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit and Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia.

CUA senior Jennifer Cantwell of Philadelphia escorts Cardinal Justin Rigali into the ballroom.
Most Rev. Joseph A. Pepe, bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas, and Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of Catholic University, served as co-hosts for the dinner. Father O'Connell's homily, given at the Mass prior to the dinner, is online at:

Other dinner attendees included Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States; Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and university chancellor; and Most Rev. William E. Lori, bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport (Conn.) and chairman of the CUA Board of Trustees.

Each year a different diocese or archdiocese hosts the black-tie event; this year's event was the first time the U.S. cardinals gathered in Nevada for the fundraiser. In recent years the dinner has been held in such cities as Washington, D.C., Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul and San Francisco. Since its inauguration, the annual event has raised more than $22 million to support Catholic University.

To view more photos from the American Cardinals Dinner in Las Vegas, see