The Pope Leo XIII Award Inaugural Fund-raising Gala honoring Cardinal Dolan and benefiting the Leo House, a Catholic guesthouse in Manhattan, was a grand New York evening with a big assist from the Archdiocese of Chicago.
The award, originally instituted by the Archdiocese of Chicago and Auxiliary Bishop Bernard J. Sheil, had not been presented since the bishop’s death in 1969.
Father James Heyd, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, discovered the award in the archdiocesan archives earlier this year. He contacted David Smith, executive director of the Leo House, to suggest transferring the award to the Leo House. Smith agreed and commenced planning for the Dec. 11 gala, attended by 230 guests at the Yale Club in Manhattan. Father James Martin, S.J., editor at large of America magazine in Manhattan, delivered an address on the life and legacy of Pope Leo XIII.
Auxiliary Bishop John O’Hara accepted the award for Cardinal Dolan, who missed the dinner due to a brief illness.