2009 American Catholic Press Benefit

Saturday evening, November 14, as in years past, we celebrate at the Flossmoor Country Club, 1440 Western Avenue, in Flossmoor, Illinois. Driving directions are available online.

A reception, with an open bar, begins at 6 p.m.  Dinner  begins at 7 p.m.   During dinner, Paige Jaffe and two friends make raffle tickets available, by circulating among the tables.

Front door of Flossmoor Country Club
Here is the front entrance to the main building of the Flossmoor Country Club.

At a board meeting March 25, the ACP board of directors chose a nominee for the Gratiam Dei Award, Mr. Thomas Sedor, principal of Infant Jesus of Prague (IJP) School in Flossmoor.  Mr. Sedor is the recipient of numerous awards, both for himself and for IJP school.   Mr. Sedor speaks of his experience in Catholic education, especially at IJP.  In addition, the board decided to establish a new honor, the Henry Hyde Award.  On November 14, 2009, this award is given to Jill Stanek, a pro-life advocate, well known locally and nationally.  She speaks of her experience at Christ Hospital and of her work for the pro-life cause.

Jill Stanek (left) receives the Henry Hyde Award from Father Gilligan (right)
Jill Stanek (left) receives the Henry Hyde Award from Father Michael Gilligan (right).

The master of ceremonies, as last year, is Nick Zagotta, the just-retired president of Flossmoor Country Club.  At the beginning of the meal, Father Jim Flynn says grace; he is the pastor of Holy Name of Mary Parish in Chicago.  After the presentation of the Gratiam Dei Award and the Henry Hyde Award, we sing a brief litany, concluding with a three-part blessing  by Father Richard Kozak.  He is the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Homewood.

The evening concludes with the singing of the Festival Choir of St. Joseph's parish, under the direction of John Ligda.  Their electic repertory includes music from various periods, both secular and sacred.  Megan Murray is the soloist for the Mozart Laudate Dominum.  John Ligda gives a brief commentary before each song.  He also accompanies several selections on the piano.  One participant at this dinner says that the singing was the best we have had in the past sixteen years.

This year, the Silent Auction is especially extensive.  Coordinated by Jim and Joan Braden, the auction features a wide variety of items; the auction is thoroughly successful. Chris Bern and Rosann Conroy also help in providing items for the auction and in arranging the display.

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Father Michael Gilligan

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