by Dan Schwala
Dressed in their most elegant evening attire, nearly 640 people enjoyed delicious appetizers and cocktails on the Plaza of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels as a four-piece jazz band set a festive mood in the early evening hour.
As a full moon rose in the night sky, guests enjoyed alfresco dining with a beautifully prepared meal of zinfandel wine-braised short ribs, a garlic potato puree, and rosemary demi-glace vegetables. In his taped address and welcome, Archbishop Gomez relayed that he has it on the best authority that next year’s 80th Anniversary Gala will feature an inspiring fireworks display!
A classical string quartet entertained throughout the dinner, after which the honorees received their awards. The overarching theme of the acceptance speeches focused on the profound importance of St. John’s Seminary in producing the priests that lead the parishes throughout the Archdiocese. The Plaza and Cathedral were beautifully lit with a wash of contrasting colors that complemented the joy-filled atmosphere of the evening.
The St. John’s Seminary Annual Gala celebrated its 79th anniversary since opening its doors on Sept. 12, 1939. St. John’s alumni include 1,231 priests, 29 bishops, and three cardinals. The evening’s Distinguished Alumni honorees included Monsignor Bob Gallagher (in memoriam), Monsignor Richard Krekelberg, Deacon Robert Seidler, and Monsignor Francis Weber. The Seminary’s Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) Award was presented to Sister Mary Elizabeth Galt, B.V.M. Bishop Joseph Brennan served as the master of ceremonies, and Bishop Marc Trudeau led the opening prayer. The above video presentation after the awards illustrates the profound and paramount importance of St. John’s Seminary to every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and beyond.