Celebrating our mother church


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — “It’s hard to believe it has been six years,” said Father Rich Adam of the annual Red Dinner fundraiser for Sacred Heart Cathedral. The event celebrates the cathedral as the mother church of the Diocese of Davenport and has become an important fundraiser for the cathedral’s day to day maintenance.

Anne Marie Amacher
Mary Huber and Ella Heinrichs break apart tickets for the 50/50 raffle during the Red Dinner to support Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. The dinner took place Feb. 14 at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.

The Red Dinner is an event that has grown throughout the years, the cathedral’s pastor said. The dinner had humble beginnings, with guests celebrating in the former school the first two years. It then expanded to St. Ambrose University. Last year, when the event hosted Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the dinner took place at the Rhythm City Event Center. This year’s dinner, which took place Feb. 14, was back at St. Ambrose.

The event started off with Father Adam reading a special blessing for the people, sent in by last year’s guest, Cardinal Dolan. The pastor and two parishioners, Jim Carter and Frank Cincola, made a six-pack of beer in honor of the cardinal —Dolan Dubble — which was to be auctioned off later in the evening. The cardinal offered blessings for the beer and “those who will buy it.”


Bishop Thomas Zinkula blessed the meal, including the farmers, truckers, cooks and all who helped bring the meal together.

Father Adam said he appreciates the fact that the Catholics from throughout the diocese come together to support their “diocesan home” at the dinner each year.
Jan Egger of St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf came to the event because she likes to support the cathedral’s purpose and maintenance. “I was thrilled when they remodeled. It needed to be done,” she said. “I sent in some money (for the construction and renovation). It wasn’t a lot but I wanted to support our diocesan home.”
Guest Mary Agnes Liebscher laughed saying, “I didn’t want to miss a party.”

In addition to the many silent auction items and a 50/50 raffle, Bill Menner of Grinnell won a trip to Rome.

As the evening closed, Father Adam thanked all who attended and the volunteers who made the event happen. “This has been an incredible evening.”

He announced that the 2021 Red Dinner speaker will be Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Texas. The cardinal just finished his term as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Prior to his appointment in Texas, the cardinal served as bishop in the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa.

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