Ambrozic honours Italian community at Cardinal's Dinner

  • November 20, 2006
Cardinal Aloysius AmbrozicTORONTO - More than 2,200 people gathered Nov. 9 to celebrate the 27th annual Cardinal's Dinner and contribute to Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic's charitable choices in the archdiocese of Toronto.

Those gathered included Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, former prime minister John Turner, former Ontario lieutenant-governor Hilary Weston, representatives of municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area and corporate heavyweights, including Conrad Black, and leaders of other churches, including Archbishop Colin Johnson of the Anglican diocese of Toronto.

Greetings to the dinner were offered by Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the papal nuncio, or ambassador to Canada from the Vatican.

The cardinal used the occasion to honour Toronto's Italian Catholic community as an example of how Canada has been enriched by its ethnic diversity.

"If we enjoy the multiethnic character of our society, it is because of the Italians, because most of us become tolerant when we are forced to be so by the presence of others in our midst," the cardinal said in his speech.

Alfredo (Fred) DeGasperis, president and chief executive officer of Con-Drain Co., was honorary chair of the dinner and J.J. Barnicke was master of ceremonies. Live music was provided by the Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School Senior Concert Band.

The annual dinner raises close to $150,000 a year for a variety of charities. Since its inception by Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter in 1979, the dinner has raised more than $4 million. In 2005, its funds were distributed to 23 charities.

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