Gala 2017

Catholic Distance University’s friends, supporters, trustees, and recent graduates gathered for the annual gala on November 4, 2017, at the Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel in Arlington, VA.

The evening began with an Academic Convocation Mass recognizing CDU’s 2017 undergraduate and graduate degree recipients, a number of whom travelled from across the country to attend the event. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for Military Services, USA, Chancellor of the university, served as principal celebrant and homilist.

Father Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, PhD, was awarded the Founders Award for his great heart and zeal as a scientist and for helping all of God’s children find their path to God through science. Father Spitzer serves on CDU’s faculty as a course autho and hosts EWTN’s Father Spitzer’s Universe. He also serves as president of the Magis Center and the Spitzer Center. In today’s increasingly secular world, Father Spitzer explained, many young people are leaving religion behind. Many of these young people cannot reconcile faith with fact-based science, which is increasingly–though wrongly–seen as at odds with religion. Father Spitzer spoke about misperceptions of the dichotomy between faith and science. “Faith and science are in no way contradictory,” he explained. “There is substantial evidence of a supernatural mind,” he added, citing compelling examples, including instances in which blind people were suddenly able to see during near-death experiences despite not having working optic nerves.  “Needless hemorrhaging of the Faith needs to stop,” he concluded.

The Bishop Thomas J. Welsh Award was awarded to two parishes this year for the continuing support of their pastors and the enrichment of the parish community through CDU: St James the Greater Church of Charles Town, WV, and St. Veronica’s Church of Chantilly, Virginia.

Gala Benefactor

Supreme Knight Carl & Mrs. Dorian Anderson

Gala Sponsors

Dr. and Mrs. Joseph V. Braddock
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
EWTN Global Catholic Network, Inc.
St. Mary Catholic Church

Archdiocese for the Military Services
Archdiocese of Washington
Diocese of Arlington
Good Shepherd Catholic Church
Barbara Keebler and Terrence Giroux
Korte Realty
Dr. Marianne Evans Mount
Mr. William and Mrs. Mary Noel Page
Mr. Stephen Pryor
Dr. and Mrs. Frederick Scheuren
Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Smith
Saint Theresa Catholic Church
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wasaff

Archbishop Timothy Broglio
Archdiocese of Baltimore
Church of the Nativity
Daniel F. Curtin
Diocese of Brooklyn
Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Fricano
Dr. Angelo Giardino
Mrs. Geraldine Hall
Jean Halle and Glenn Davis
Sam and Ann Hinojosa
Mrs. Claire Huang
Mr. and Mrs. Peter D. Jones
Dr. Araceli Lardizabal-Carnazzo
The Hon. Susan R. Malone and Col. George Malone
John and Margaret McCabe
Dr. Margaret B. Melady
Mrs. Helen Metzger
Mount St. Mary’s University
Mrs. Barbara P. Murphy
Mr. and Mrs. Roger Naill
Dr. Timothy T. O’Donnell
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Petrino
St. Agnes Church
St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
Mr. and Mrs. Harry T. Wilkins

We would be honored to have you join us at our annual Gala. Not only will you be supporting our award winners and graduates, you will also be supporting the only exclusively online Catholic university in the ACCU.  As CDU’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.  CDU’s sole focus is online theological and religious education.

Thirty three years ago, 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 2018 Gala.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Previous Honorees:

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 – His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl

Archbishop of Washington

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’s Catholic Church

Rev.  Edward Hathaway

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