By Barb Arland-Fye and
Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Cardinal Timothy Dolan, perhaps the best known prelate in America, will be dining in Davenport on Feb. 7 at Sacred Heart Cathedral’s annual Red Dinner.
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.
Cardinal Dolan, who leads the Archdiocese of New York, will celebrate Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 4 p.m. prior to the dinner, which will be served at 6 p.m. at Rhythm City Convention Center in Davenport. Reservations are being accepted now because seating is limited. (Go to shcdavenport.org and click on Red Dinner tab.)
“We chose Cardinal Dolan because of his connection with rebuilding St. Patrick’s Cathedral (in New York) and our adding onto Sacred Heart Cathedral,” said Father Rich Adam, pastor and rector of the Davenport Diocese’s cathedral. “Cardinal Dolan made an impact on defining the nature of a cathedral and that resonated with our own Cathedral Sunday and emphasizing the nature of a cathedral.”
Parishioners learned this summer that Cardinal Dolan would celebrate Mass with them and be the keynote speaker at the Red Dinner. Some have approached Fr. Adam wondering: “How in the world did you get Cardinal Timothy Dolan to come to Sacred Heart Cathedral?” His response: “Oftentimes it’s not what you know but who you know! And that’s the case here.”
Cardinal Dolan and Father Bob Busher, a retired priest of the Davenport Diocese, have been close friends for 46 years, dating back to their seminarian days at the Pontifical North American College (NAC) in Rome. Fr. Busher provided encouragement and support that the homesick future cardinal desperately needed then.
Four years ago, Cardinal Dolan traveled to Iowa at the request of Bishop Richard Pates of the Des Moines Diocese to speak at the Christ Our Life Conference. But the cardinal insisted that his visit had to include a stop at St. Mary Parish in Wilton where his buddy Fr. Busher was serving as pastor.
Fast forward to 2018: After a Memorial Day phone call between the two friends, “Timmy” was happy to comply with “Bobby’s” request to attend the Red Dinner event, Fr. Adam said.
“There’s a tremendous strength and power in friendship,” Fr. Busher noted. “Tim and I have been friends for so long, over 40 years. He knows that if I ask for something, it’s serious. And he likes to get out and be with the people.” Cardinal Dolan told Fr. Busher he could make the event fit into his calendar and besides, he wanted to spend some with his good buddy. The two know their time together is limited, but as they get older, “Anytime we get to do something together it is a real blessing for both of us,” Fr. Busher said.
“That’s a testament of a good friendship that will benefit many,” Fr. Adam said. “Our simple fundraising dinner has grown to be much more than we ever expected and we are very happy for the good cause it supports!
Limited seating at dinner
Seating is limited for Sacred Heart Cathedral’s annual Red Dinner, which will be held Feb. 7 at Rhythm City Convention Center in Davenport.
Tickets are $75 per person. Sponsorship for clergy and religious to attend is $75 per person. Table captains can organize a table of 10 people for $750. Table captains will receive an invitation for two to the cathedral rectory following Mass for appetizers and cocktails with Bishop Thomas Zinkula and Father Rich Adam.
Sponsorship of a table is $1,500 and includes premium seating for 10, acknowledgment of the sponsor in the printed program, recognition at the dinner and an invitation for four to the rectory for appetizers with the bishop and Fr. Adam.
Reservations made online require a two-step process. Go to www.shcdavenport.org, click on the Red Dinner reservations. Do the two steps to reserve, then pay for the dinner.
If you do not have access to the Internet, call the cathedral office at (563) 324-3257 and ask for a form. Complete forms and a check written to Sacred Heart Cathedral with the notation Red Dinner at the bottom. Drop your reservation into the Sunday basket collection at the cathedral or mail it to Sacred Heart Cathedral, Red Dinner, 422 E 10th St., Davenport, Iowa 52803.