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2018 Archbishop’s Gala Celebrates The Journey

Twenty-first annual Archbishop’s Gala reaches record high attendance.

by Maggie Doyle

Music, dancing, and Christ-centered joy filled the Grand Riverview Ballroom at the Cobo Center on June 15, as the Archdiocese of Detroit celebrated the Twenty-first Annual Archbishop’s Gala. Considered Sacred Heart Major Seminary’s signature event of the year, the fundraiser honors and supports tomorrow’s priests, deacons, and lay leaders. 

 “Nobody gets to sit on the sidelines! We all must join in the great caravan to the Kingdom of God,” said Archbishop Allen Vigneron, highlighting the evening’s theme, “On the Road Together.”

by Maggie Doyle

This theme was reflected throughout the night, beginning with the “way-finder” each guest received upon entering the Gala. This road map encouraged guests to tick off boxes after completing a task, including: take a selfie with a seminarian, try a cocktail or appetizer, and say a prayer for Sacred Heart students and vocations.

Indeed, few were on the sidelines during the evening, as attendance reached a record high of 1,200 guests who enjoyed a cocktail reception, dinner, addresses by the Archbishop as well as Sacred Heart Major Seminary’s rector, Msgr. Todd Lajines.

Archbishop Vigneron thanked guests for their support and the crucial part they play in unleashing the Gospel.

“Sacred Heart Major Seminary has an indispensable contribution to make to help the world know about Jesus, his mercy and his life, training priests, deacons, and laypersons all for the ministry of serving the Gospel… so that the world will gather on this road that leads to eternal happiness,” he said.

The archbishop closed by encouraging the audience to find optimism beyond Detroit’s rise from the ashes.

“This hope can’t be simply a shallow optimism based on good financial times,” said Archbishop Vigneron. “This hope has to be rooted in something deeper, something in our souls, a confidence that God is with us… that is our mission in the Church: to be the trustees of that hope and share that hope.”

Msgr. Todd Lajines echoed the Archbishop’s sentiments, recognizing the abundance of good signs that Detroit and Sacred Heart Major Seminary have been experiencing on this journey, including a growing student body and graduates who are “on fire because they have encountered Christ in new ways.”

Recently ordained were also recognized, including Fr. Mark Livingston, Fr. Christopher Muer, Fr. John Maksym, Fr. Fadie Georgies, Fr. John Jaddou, Fr. Alex Colautti, Fr. John Machiorlatti, Fr. Dustin Larson, Fr. Adam Maher, Dcn. Stephen Blaxton, Fr. Joshua Erickson, Fr. Thê' Hoàng, and Fr. Brian Mulligan.

“There’s a lot of talk about the priest shortage, there’s a lot of talk about that priests are aging, priests are old, priests are boring… but not if you come to this event. If you see the vibrance, the youth, the intelligence, the joy, the laughter, the comedy, and the young men that are coming up in the seminary… it is inspiring for us as Catholics, and particularly as parents,” said Jonathan Woodsum, a supporter of Sacred Heart and parishioner at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Plymouth, Michigan.

The high-energy closing act of the Gala certainly reflected Jonathan’s words, as the seminarian band played an adaption of British hymn writer, theologian, and priest Frederick William Faber’s work, complete with a Celtic beat.

A thank you goes to all the guests, volunteers, staff, and generous sponsors who helped make this evening possible, specifically our exclusive sponsors: The Knights of Columbus Michigan State Council, Weingartz, Trinity Charitable Fund, Christian Financial Credit Union, St. Catherine of Sienna Academy through the generosity of a mutual friend, Ave Maria Mutual Funds, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Alpha & Omega Laser, Genthe Automotive, Mersino, Allied Printing Company, and Nu-tech Graphics & Systems.

Mark your calendar now to attend the Twenty-second Annual Archbishop’s Gala on Friday, June 14, 2019. To be an event sponsor for next year, contact Emily Berschback at or 313-596-7424.

Maggie Doyle

Maggie is a freelance writer and editor based in Omaha, Nebraska, passionate about sharing stories that captivate.

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.