Photos are available online here.
On Saturday, Dec. 16, His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo shared the true meaning of Christmas with nearly 350 Houstonians at the ninth annual A Cardinal’s Christmas luncheon. This festive fundraiser, held at the River Oaks Country Club, raised more than $250,000 to benefit Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s children and family services programs.
His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo shared a Christmas story with the 139 children gathered around him, which focused on the true meaning of the season and the importance of service to others. The Abreo Family Strings and the St. Michael Catholic School Choir blessed the crowd with Christmas carols. Guests of all ages enjoyed sweet holiday cookies generously donated by Paulie’s, and the children were entertained by a toy donated by Bullpen Marketing in their activity packet. The beautiful centerpieces were filled with delicious chocolate truffles donated by Godiva.
The highlight of the afternoon’s festivities came when Catholic Charities’ client Silvestre Amadeu provided a firsthand account of how the agency helped him and his family after Hurricane Harvey. Amadeu, his sister and two young children came to the U.S. to flee violence in Angola. After spending six months in Michigan, they relocated to Houston so Amadeu could find work as an engineer. Two days later, Harvey hit and flooded the apartment they were living in. With the help of Catholic Charities, they were relocated to a hotel and then placed in an apartment funded by the agency’s Safe Harbor program. Amadeu expressed his gratitude for having a safe place for his family to stay while he begins his job search.
Catholic Charities President and CEO, Cynthia N. Colbert, MSW was moved by the client’s testimony. “When times are tough, Catholic Charities goes to work. What a blessing it is to be able to serve our community and provide help and create hope for families in need. Thank you for your support to make our work possible.”
Kevin K. Rech, Catholic Charities Board Chair, thanked the chairs for the event’s success, stating, “We are so grateful for this year’s co-chairs and their incredible efforts in making this luncheon an amazing success. With their help we were able to raise funds for children and families who are in need.”
Notable guests included Fr. Wayne Wilkerson from St. Michael’s, the event chairs – Kristie and Kyle Kafka; Libby and Matt Kafka; Lauren and Chris Harvey; and Jenny and David Harvey – and underwriters Judy and Ron Girotto, Mikki Hebl and David E. Harvey, Elizabeth and Richard Husseini, and Carol and John Kafka.
The annual A Cardinal’s Christmas fundraiser supports programs such as pregnancy and parenting services, basic needs support for families in need, and affordable counseling services to families and children. These initiatives support the agency’s overall vision of helping people in need achieve self-sufficiency and live with dignity.