Gala will take place Aug. 9 at SAU

Anne Marie Amacher
Guests arrive to the 2018 Black & White Gala at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — “Prayerful solidarity and ceaseless joy in building a culture of life with thankful hearts” is the theme for the 10th anniversary of the Black and White pro-life gala. This year’s festivities begin with Mass at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 9 in Christ the King Chapel on the St. Ambrose University campus. The gala will follow in the Rogalski Center.

“Never in our history has there been a time when pro-life solidarity is so essential,” said Charlene Merritt, one of the event’s organizers. ‘Life is a God-given benevolence for which we are incredibly grateful and there is a call on our lives to respect and protect this precious gift creatively and joyfully.”

Several priests will concelebrate the Mass. Then a bagpiper will lead supporters to the Rogalski Center where representatives of life ministry organizations will be present. The Women’s Choice Center, Pregnancy Resources, Birthright, Quad City Right to Life, Project Rachel, Youth for Life and March for Life are among the organizations represented. This is also a time to mix and mingle and participate in the silent auction. A dinner of beef medallions and chicken, sides, salad and dessert will be served.


Attire is office/church casual in black and white to display an unwavering decision for life.

Cost is $30 per person or $240 for a table of eight. All priests and religious may attend at no charge but must sign up in advance. Deadline is July 31. Donations for the silent auction, sponsorship of clergy and religious and the March for Life are welcomed.

For more information or to make reservations, contact Brad and Cheryl Merritt, chairpersons for the host parish, St. Paul the Apostle in Davenport, at (563) 529-1820 or

“We will again be focusing on raising funds for March for Life in addition to the area life ministries,” Charlene Merritt said. Proceeds from last year’s gala made it possible for 33 participants to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C. The gala also provided a good beginning in developing leadership, commitment and awareness of the larger mission, she said.

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