Honoring Dolan at Dunwoodie

St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers will hold its annual fundraising dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 29 and the honoree will be the boss — Archbishop Dolan.

(NOTE: I originally had Sept. 22 as the date. My mistake. Apologies to anyone I confused.)

The dinner helps cover the costs of educating the future priests of the Archdiocese of NY. It ain’t cheap: $500 a ticket or $5,000 a table.

For info: 914-968-6200, ext. 8292.

Reception at 6 p.m. Dinner at 7:30.

Westchesterites are playing key roles in this year’s dinner, as a press release explains:

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Chairpersons of the event are Ollie and Bill Griffin of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Managing partner of the Griffin, Coogan, Blose & Sulzer law firm in Bronxville, NY, as well as founder and chairman of the board of Hudson Valley Bank, Mr. Griffin is a member of the seminary’s Development Committee.  A graduate of Manhattan College and Villanova University School of Law, Griffin is a Knight of Malta, president of the board of the Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation and director of St. Joseph’s Medical Center Health Fund.  He and his wife, Dr. Margaret Ollie Griffin, a member of the Festival Chorale of the Archdiocese of New York, have three children and six grandchildren. They are parishioners of St. Matthew’s church in Hastings-on-Hudson.

Also at the bishops conference…

As I mentioned in my Tastykakes post earlier today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is meeting in Baltimore (where the Catholic Church got its start in the U.S.).

The agenda has to do with more than sweet cream (and whatever else Tastykakes are made of).

Cardinal George of Chicago (right), the president of the Bishops posse, opened the gathering yesterday by wondering what life would be like without ordained priests, according to Catholic News Service. He considered the possibility of more authority resting with professors, political leaders and therapists — and didn’t like the picture.

Catholic BishopsOf course, “the church would be deprived of the Eucharist, and her worship would be centered only on the praise and thanksgiving,” he lamented.

Today, the bishops celebrated their influence in keeping health-care reform legislation “abortion neutral.”

“It was a good example of how we as a conference can work together to have a positive influence on legislation,” said Bishop William F. Murphy (left) of Rockville Centre (Long Island) in a report to fellow bishops.

At Cardinal George’s request, the bishops applauded in unison to show their support for Murphy’s statement, according to CNS.

George said the conference would “remain vigilant and involved throughout this entire process to assure that these essential provisions are maintained and included in the final legislation…We will work to persuade the Senate to follow the example of the House and include these critical safeguards in their version of health care reform legislation.”

Interestingly, the left-leaning/progressive National Catholic Reporter reported that George, in his opening address, talked about the need for Catholic colleges, publications and other organizations to more closely align themselves with the bishops’ leadership. He said that Catholic groups that do not do so are “sectarian, less than fully Catholic,” and talked about the bishops strengthening their relationship with Catholic universities and media.

NCR reports that George did not name specific Catholic media, colleges or  other organizations that he had in mind. But he said that “if any institution, including the media, calls itself Catholic,” it is the moral responsibility of a bishop to assure that it is Catholic.

There has been much talk in recent years, both from the Vatican and in the U.S., of Catholic colleges and universities strengthening their Catholic identities.

But how might the bishops reach out to independent Catholic media? NCR is probably itching to find out.

Also, the bishops affirmed today in a pastoral letter that  the church defines marriage as between one man and one woman — and that sex is meant for procreation.

(The bishop in the middle of the picture, by the way, is Archbishop George Niederauer, chair of the bishops’ communications committee.)

Photo: AP/Rob Carr