“Who doesn’t need a good laugh? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get Archbishop Listecki, Cardinal Dolan, Bishop Hying and Cardinal Harvey in a room together to talk about their memories of Catholic education?”
That idea emerged during a meeting to plan this year’s Catholic Schools Dinner — a valuable fundraiser for the Grant Initiatives For Today’s Students (GIFTS) Program that is usually attended by up to 600 people each year. Knowing that the 2021 event would need to be virtual because of the pandemic, organizers were scratching their heads for a compelling theme.
That’s when it hit them: the truest testaments to Catholic education are the Catholics produced by that education. Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, former Archbishop of Milwaukee and current Archbishop of New York Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison and James Cardinal Harvey (the latter two are both Milwaukee natives) have all spoken about the foundations of faith provided to them by their Catholic education. What better advertisement than their own experiences?
“Crosiers, Comedy and Catholic Schools” is a live event being held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 13. Paula and Jim Schubilske are returning as the event chairs, and the evening will be emceed by Portia Young, former WISN 12 news anchor and the current host of 10thirtysix, a monthly newsmagazine program on Milwaukee PBS.
Registered attendees will be able to click a link and listen in as Archbishop Listecki, Bishop Hying and Cardinals Dolan and Harvey tell their stories about growing up Catholic and attending Catholic schools.
Cindy Lukowitz, a co-organizer of the event, said she is excited because this year’s format can appeal even to people who are not parents of current or former students of Catholic education. “Everyone wants to hear what these men have to say, and it’s such an inclusive concept,” she said. “In addition, we want to balance this nostalgia and these trips down memory lane with a look at the remarkable things our schools are doing today.”
Registration is encouraged by Monday, April 5, and can be completed by visiting archmil.regfox.com/schoolsevent2021. Though it is free to attend this virtual event, donations will be accepted for the GIFTS Program, a grant program enhancing faith-based education for Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by distributing funds to schools recognized in distinct areas — Catholic identity, innovation and seed money.