By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — The annual Red Dinner to benefit Sacred Heart Cathedral drew a big crowd, including a group of seven from St. Mary Parish in Riverside who love to see their former pastor.
“We’ll follow him anywhere,” said Barb Simon of the Riverside parish, referring to Father Rich Adam, who serves as the cathedral’s pastor and rector. The dinner was held Feb. 13 at the Rogalski Center on the St. Ambrose University campus.
“Amen is what he always said at our parish,” Simon continued. Her fellow parishioners nodded in agreement. While at Riverside, Fr. Adam saw the completion of the parish hall. “We will support him wherever he goes, and just to say hi.” Last November, they attended the dedication of the new diocesan hall.
Fr. Adam told the nearly 425 people in attendance that the Red Dinner celebrates the cathedral as the mother church of the diocese. “What a great and wonderful turnout, especially with Ash Wednesday being tomorrow,” he said. “Seven years ago Bishop (Martin) Amos asked me to build a gathering space, and bathrooms, for the cathedral. I thought it was an impossible task. We now marvel at what we have done, what you have all done, with the help of the entire diocese.”
Bishop Thomas Zinkula said the cathedral “is a house of prayer for a parish community, but as the seat of the local church and the principal church of the diocese, it also is a house of prayer for the entire diocesan community.” He offered thanks for the “beautiful cathedral and for the generosity of the faithful people of this diocese, who have joined together to create a new parish and diocesan center, which will better serve our needs. We are grateful for the opportunity this evening to gather together as a local church — the Diocese of Davenport — to support one another in living and practicing our Catholic faith.” The bishop reflected on the Lenten season which was about to start. Then he blessed the food. “Thank you for farmers, truckers and cooks. Bless this meal, bless us and bless our time together.”
Throughout the evening attendees had an opportunity to bid on auction items, some of them on display. Cathedral parishioner George Moore said he has attended all four Red Dinners — the first two in the cathedral’s old school and the latest two at St. Ambrose. “I do my part to contribute and to support our parish,” he said, along with his wife Karol.