Column: CEF Gaudeamus dinner draws record attendance

Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at:

Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at:

by Michael Morrisey

I want to start this article with two pieces of information that are key to the setup and content understanding: “Catholic school pastors rock” and, growing up, I wanted to be a newspaper reporter.

To support my writing skills capability, I want you to know that I was the assistant sports editor for our school newspaper when I was in the seventh grade.

Our Gaudeamus Catholic education celebration was held on Oct. 8. We had a record crowd of 1,159 and raised record dollars. Like any good reporter, I am giving you the end result first.

Continuing my reporter duties, I interacted with attendees and, as a result, can provide insight to those of you who were not able to attend.

So . . . the following are brown carpet quotes obtained during the night:

Third-grade volunteer: “The drum line leading the crowd into the ballroom was rad.”

Attendee with vintage: “The evening was very special. You could feel the electricity in the air.”

Younger adult attendee: “This is the first time I have attended. What CEF does for those that need help is unbelievable. I will not miss it again!”

Catholic school pastor honoree: “Michael, we don’t need this recognition. Being a pastor with a Catholic school is reward enough. However, being honored is much appreciated.”

High school student volunteer: “Over 1,100 people are supposed to be here tonight. Wow!”

Another attendee with vintage: “All the presentations were good, and the video was the best ever.”

Middle-aged attendee: “I have been to a lot of noble-cause dinners, but this is the best banquet food I have ever had.”

CEF board member: “Our Catholic school pastors deserve this recognition. It is about time we thank them for all they do for our kids.”

TV news anchor: “Can I get a picture of you, Stan, my husband and me for my Facebook page?”

Kindergarten volunteer: “The holy water that archbishop sprayed on the crosses we were holding hit me in my eyes and was cold.”

Young adult attendee: “The postGaudeamus social hour with entertainment is the perfect end to a great evening.”

Monsignor’s presentation: “Brothers and sisters, our Catholic schools are FREE. FREE to help children and youth to learn to pray. FREE to teach students that Jesus Christ is their savior and friend.” And much more, as his messaging was one for the archives!

I could go on and on, but the evening was a huge success. It was a huge success because of the presence of the 43 Catholic school pastors and their commitment to our Catholic schools. For all of us, I say to them at least one more time, THANK YOU!

Oh, by the way, Catholic school pastors rock!

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Michael Morrisey

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