New York City, N.Y., Oct 18, 2013 / 06:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Faith and laughter abounded at the 68th annual Al Smith Dinner as comedian Stephen Colbert joked on politicians, big and small, the Pope, and Cardinal Dolan, and the cardinal made a few reflections of his own.
“A sense of humor comes from faith, faith that everything is in God’s providential hands, a faith that frees us up to laugh,” New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan explained at the Oct. 17 dinner.
“My pleasant task is simply to thank God – thank God as we leave laughing, placing our guests, our honoree, our speaker, our board, our children that we love and help, the city that we love, our country we cherish, our families to which we’re now going to return safely into His providential hands,” Cardinal Dolan continued, closing the evening.
The Al Smith Dinner is an annual black-tie fund-raising dinner for New York City Catholic Charities, held in memory of former New York Governor Al Smith.
“For 68 years, this has been an evening of joy and friendship and charity to others,” Cardinal Dolan said, explaining the tone of the dinner known for its humor, witty political commentary, and fund-raising efforts for Catholic Charities.
This year’s dinner raised $3 million for needy children served by Catholic Charities in New York, and honored Brian Thomas Moynihan, president of Bank of America.
While it was clear that the dinner was organized to help those most in need, the keynote speaker admitted that he did hope to get something out of the night.
“I’m not getting paid for this – do I get a plenary indulgence or anything?” Colbert joked.
The comedian – host of the nightly news parody “The Colbert Report” – took the opportunity to poke at Cardinal Dolan, who has appeared on Colbert’s show and at a 2012 conversation on faith and humor at New York’s Jesuit college, Fordham University.
Though on his show Colbert plays a character that is sometimes assumed to be either an atheist or a common person unfamiliar with Church teaching, in real life, Colbert has affirmed his belief and fidelity to the Catholic Church. The father of three teaches a weekly catechism class at his local parish and often comments on the large Catholic family in which he grew up.
“Also I am the youngest of 11 children,” Colbert explained, rushing through the names of all of his siblings (Read More)