The 40th gala will be held the evening of Friday, November 17, 2023, at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia.

Friends, faculty, Board members, graduates, and staff of Catholic Distance University gathered at the 39th Gala to celebrate serving the New Evangelization on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at the St. John Paul II Shrine in Washington, D.C. The Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, received the Founders Award. The Master of Ceremonies was the Very Reverend Joseph R. Gibino of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Learn how CDU is advancing its mission by viewing the videos below.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone's Remarks

Read Archbishop Cordileone’s remarks here.

We are grateful for your support. Not only has your gift supported our award winner and graduates, you have also supported the only exclusively online university in The Association of Theological Schools. As the university’s only annual fundraiser, the Gala provides much needed revenue to fulfill our strategic mission for Catholic online education that nurtures the spiritual and intellectual life of Catholics around the globe.

Gala Platinum Sponsors

Basilica of St. Mary
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Holmer
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Pryor


Gala Sponsor

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
EWTN Global Catholic Network
Ms. Barbara Keebler and Mr. Terrence Giroux
Hon. Janice Obuchowski and the Halprin Family Foundation


Gala Champion Sponsor

Good Shepherd Catholic Church


Gala Patron Sponsor

Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA
Diocese of Arlington
Diocese of Brooklyn
Mr. Tony Braddock and The Loch Harbour Group
Korte Realty
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Maher
Dr. Marianne Evans Mount
Mrs. Barbara Murphy
Mr. and Mrs. William Page
Dr. and Mrs. Fritz Scheuren
Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Smith, Esquire
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schott Stevens
Dr. and Mrs. Charles Wasaff


Gala Associate Sponsor

Mrs. Rhonda O’Malley
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Jones
Mrs. Mary Petrino , DM
St. Theresa Catholic Church
St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church


Gala Friend Sponsor

Diocese of Los Angeles
Dr. Araceli Carnazzo
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bender
Dr. Brian Corbin and Dr. Donna DeBlasio
Mr. Daniel F. Curtin
Mrs. Geraldine Hall
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Hertz
Dr. Clarion Johnson
The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde
Hon. Susan and Col. George Malone
Mr. and Mrs. John McCabe, Esquire
Kelly and Jerry McGinn
Dr. Margaret Melady
Mr. and Mrs. George Muñoz
Mr. and Mrs. John Palaszczuk
Mrs. Elizabeth Shortell
The Catholic University of America
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wilkins


Flower Sponsor

St. Luke Catholic Church


Trips Sponsor


In 1983, Bishop Thomas Welsh founded CDU to bring the truth of Christ and His Church to the world through online distance education. CDU’s web-based learning community enhances adult faith formation and enables access to accredited degree programs in theology simply with a connection to the Internet.  Today, our graduates are proof that CDU’s digital learning is transformative. Nine out of ten graduates are using their knowledge in roles that serve the Church. For many students, CDU is their only option to enhance their professional work, to prepare for careers in the Church, to volunteer in parishes and dioceses, and to be parents who are both witnesses and missionary disciples, speaking with passion and knowledge about the faith. All this is accomplished at less than half the cost of attending a traditional Catholic university or college and would not be possible without the generosity of people like you.

Your generous donation to our annual event enables us to provide transformative Catholic education in fidelity to the teachings of the Church anytime, anywhere around the world, delivered 24/7 to smart phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads!  You make it possible for CDU to serve the underserved and those who serve, and to achieve our great mission to “Teach all Nations” by communicating the mind and heart of the Church in a digital world.  Your gift:

  • Educates American service men and women deployed around the world.
  • Prepares directors of religious education, teachers, and catechists to teach, promote, and defend the Catholic faith
  • Brings the healing Word of God to Catholic prison inmates who take courses to deepen their faith and evangelize fellow inmates.
  • Supports Mission Dioceses with scholarships for strong lay leaders.
  • Holds down tuition rates. Most graduates share their knowledge and serve the Church.
  • Supports isolated and marginalized Catholics around the globe with online campus resources.

Your generosity answers the need of the Church to provide transformative religious education in an online format that is essential for the New Evangelization so frequently mentioned by Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.  Understanding and sharing our Faith will transform individuals, communities and cultures around the globe.  Thank you for supporting CDU’s 2021 Gala.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Previous Honorees:

2022 – His Excellency Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone

2021 – His Excellency Most Reverend Robert Barron

2019 – His Excellency Most Reverend Christophe Pierre

2017 – Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, PhD

2016 – Carl A. Anderson

Supreme Knight of The Knights of Columbus

2016 – His Excellency Most Reverend William E. Lori

Archbishop of Baltimore and Supreme Chaplain of Knights of Columbus

2015 – Helen Alvare, JD

Professor of Law, George Mason University

2014 – His Excellency The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio

Archbishop for the Military Services

2014 – His Excellency The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio

Bishop of Brooklyn

2013 – Barbara & Tim Murphy

2012 – Dr. Margaret & Ambassador Thomas Melady

2011 – His Excellency, The Most Reverend Pietro Sambi

Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America

2011 – Joseph and Bertha Braddock

2010 – His Excellency, The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde

Bishop of Arlington

2010 – EWTN

Mr. Michael Warsaw, Chairman of the Board

Previous Honorees:

2017 – St. James the Greater

Rev. John S. Ledford

2017 – St. Veronica Catholic Church

Rev. Dennis W. Kleinmann

2016 – Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church

Rev. John D. Kelly

2015 – Good Shepherd Catholic Church

Rev. Thomas Ferguson

2014 – St. John the Apostle Roman Catholic Church

Rev. John P. Mosimann

2013 – St. Mary Catholic Church

Rev.  Dennis W. Kleinmann

2012 – Holy Spirit Catholic Church

Rev.  John M. O’Donohue

2011 – St. Raymond of Penafort Catholic Church

2010 – St. Agnes Catholic Church

Rev. Frederick H. Edlefsen

2019 – Diocese of Brooklyn