The ACP Benefit this year takes place Saturday, September 25, at Flossmoor Country Club. Driving directions are available online. At 6 p.m., a reception is held for our honorees in the Berkshire Room. During this time, there is an open bar. Reserved table seating is identified at the reception desk. At 6:30, hors d'oeuvres are served. At 7 p.m., the chimes are rung, to summon everyone to the Ogilve Room for dinner. We begin with the hymn, Lord of All Life, published in both the Leaflet Missal prayerbook and the American Catholic Hymnbook. Father Jim Flynn then says grace before meals. (Father Flynn's parish, Holy Name of Mary, makes good use of the Leaflet Missal prayerbook and Parish Liturgy magazine.)
The master of ceremonies this evening is Mauro Glorioso, past president of the Justinian Society. He also serves on the Board of Appeals for the State of Illinois. Mauro's term of office extends several years into the future.
The board of directors of American Catholic Press met on April 14 and made a final decision on our two honorees. The Gratiam Dei Award is conferred on Senator Bill Brady, who hails from Bloomington, Illinois. The Henry Hyde Award is presented to Coleen Mast, a writer and a radio personality. She is published by Ignatius Press and broadcast regularly on Sirius Radio.
During the reception before dinner, Coleen has a table, with several of her books and other publications available. In the same location, the Berkshire Room, there is a silent auction, which continues during dinnertime. (You go in, sign for what you like and move on. Somone else can also sign in, with a higher bid. People come and go, bidding as they wish.)
Vincent Kolber, an expert in finance and investing, speaks briefly to those present, commending Bill Brady for his approach in fiscal management. Vincent is the CEO of Residco, a Chicago firm providing financial and investment services to transportation equipment corporations. A special guest, Rev. Isaac Hayes, also speaks to the gathering, introducing Bill Brady. Rev. Isaac Hayes is a pro-life advocate, articulate and inspiring. Another special guest is Rev. James Heyd, Cardinal George's liaison to the pro-life community. He introduces Coleen Mast. In honor of both Bill Brady and Coleen Mast, we stand and sing Ad Multos Annos ("for many years").
Then, Steve True conducts an exciting, live auction of a few items, a Holy Family Sculpture, a Ronald Reagan print, and the Book of Kells. (Steve is Nancy Brady's brother; he is a well known sports broadcaster in Milwaukee.) Afterwards, we enjoy a presentation of Scottish dancing, with a piper, Rev. Scott McCawley. Under the direction of Nancy Strolle, the Thistle and Heather group provides a dazzling display of Highland joy. At their table is the the flag of Scotland. Father McCawley is an associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish, in Elmhurst, Illinois.
After the usual Litany of Peace, Father Heyd says grace after meals. He is an associate of Father Frank Pavone, in Priests for Life. Father Heyd concludes with a blessing for the gathering, in the name of the Trinity. Father Heyd is full time in this work; he is a priest of the Chicago Archdiocese.
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