Tickets to CDU's 38th Annual Gala are nearly sold out! Call Annie at 443-257-6022 to purchase the few remaining tickets.

When: Thursday, November 18, 2021

Where: Saint John Paul II National Shrine,
Washington, D.C.

Featuring 2021 Founders Award Recipient

The Most Reverend Robert Barron

Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Founder of Word on Fire

Also Featuring

Helen Alvare

Helen Alvaré

as the Evening’s Emcee

Schedule of Events

5:30 PM Mass

6:30 PM Reception

7:30 PM Dinner and Awards

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Saint John Paul II National Shrine

3900 Harewood Rd NE, Washington, DC 20017

R.S.V.P. by October 29, 2021

Questions? Contact 304-724-5000, ext. 727 or email


Trips of a Lifetime Silent Auction


Phoenix Park Hotel. Click the link to reserve a room online or call 855-371-6824. Mention that you are with Catholic Distance University or enter Group Code 24065. The deadline to reserve a room is October 19, 2021.

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Click the link to reserve a room online or call 1-800-233-1234 and mention that you are with Catholic Distance University. The deadline to reserve a room is October 28, 2021.

We are grateful for your support. Not only will your gift support our award winner and graduates, you will also be supporting the only exclusively online university in the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. 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.

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:

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

Gala Host Committee 2019

Dr. Charles R. Wasaff, Chairman of the Board of Trustees

The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and University Chancellor

The Honorable Susan R. Malone


Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

Archdiocese of Washington

Basilica of Saint Mary

Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Braddock

Tony Braddock

Catholic Faith Technologies

Christendom College

Mr. Brian R. Corbin and Dr. Donna DeBlasio

Reverend Monsignor John C. Cregan

Mr. Daniel F. Curtin

Dr. and Mrs. Hugh Dempsey

Diocese of Arlington

Diocese of Brooklyn

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

EWTN Global Catholic Network

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Fricano

Drs. Angelo and Eileen Giardino

Good Shepherd Catholic Church

Mrs. Geraldine Hall

Mrs. Jean Halle and Mr. Glenn Davis

Mr. and Mrs. Sam and Ann Hinojosa

Mr. and Mrs Alan F. Holmer

Mrs. Claire Huang

IBI Group

Dr. Clarion E. Johnson and Family

Mr. and Mrs. Peter D. Jones

Ms. Barbara Keebler and Mr. Terrence Giroux

Korte Realty

Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde

The Hon. Susan R. Malone and Col. George Malone

Mr. and Mrs. John F. McCabe

Dr. Margaret Melady

Helena Metzger

Mrs. Blanche Moore

Dr. Marianne Evans Mount

Mrs. Barbara Murphy

Napa Institute

Ms. Janice Obuchowski

Mr. and Mrs. William Page

Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey P.F. Petrino

Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Pryor

The Hon. Peter and Kathleen Schaumber

Dr. and Mrs. Fritz Scheuren

Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Smith

St. Agnes Catholic Church

St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

St. Theresa Catholic Church

Dr. and Mrs. Charles R. Wasaff

Mrs. Deborah Weatherly and Mr. Glenn Eugster

Mr. and Mrs. Harry T. Wilkins

Sr. Mary Brendon Zajac, SND, D.Min

Watch the videos below to learn more about the Gala