St. Ambrose Academy annual Benefit Dinner Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Liz Frias, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

shawn carney
Shawn Carney
You are invited

Ninth Annual St. Ambrose Academy Benefit Dinner

All are welcome to join a festive evening celebrating Catholic education in the Diocese of Madison and the fruits of St. Ambrose Academy.

Saturday, Dec. 12:

5:30 p.m. — Cocktail hour, cash bar

7 p.m. — Dinner

Cost: $75/plate, four guests at reduced rate of $250 or table of eight at reduced rate of $500. Note: parties of less than eight may be seated with other parties.

Site: Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, WI 53713

RSVP: St. Ambrose Academy, 608-827-5863

MADISON -- On Saturday, Dec. 12, St. Ambrose Academy will host its annual Benefit Dinner, gathering hundreds from around the Diocese of Madison to celebrate Catholic education.

St. Ambrose Academy has hosted the annual dinner for nine consecutive years. As in years past, joining the evening’s festivities are Bishop Robert C. Morlino, as well as representatives from several local Catholic apostolates and organizations.

“I love seeing all of St. Ambrose’s friends, old and new,” said Dr. Constance Nielsen, director of classical education at St. Ambrose.

Dr. Nielsen has served as the emcee for the Benefit Dinner for the last several years. “It’s always my favorite part of the evening.”

Founded in 2003

Founded in 2003, St. Ambrose was founded out of a desire by area Catholic families to “place their education and formation of their children squarely in the context of the Catholic faith,” explained Scott Schmiesing, the school’s principal.

St. Ambrose Academy provides a classical education rooted in the Catholic faith for students in grades six to 12. According to David Stiennon, president of the school’s board, “The classical education model strives to train students in the virtues and to form students’ ability to judge rightly with studies of formal logic and close reading of texts. Classical education of this kind is an excellent preparation for the professional life or any vocation to which our students are called.”

The annual Benefit Dinner, historically near the school’s patronal feast day of December 7, plays a key role in the school’s success. Donations received at the Benefit Dinner, the school’s primary fundraiser, allow St. Ambrose to offer a classical, Catholic education to 89 students currently, mostly through the funding of scholarships.

‘Spare no sacrifice’

In the Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, proclaimed by Blessed Paul VI 50 years ago, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council stated that “[this Sacred Council] . . . earnestly entreats pastors and all the faithful to spare no sacrifice in helping Catholic schools fulfill their function in a continually more perfect way.”

St. Ambrose benefactors make it possible for many students to attend Catholic middle and high school who could not otherwise afford it. For the 2015-2016 school year, a third of families will benefit from $145,000 in tuition assistance.

“Every baptized young Catholic has a right to a Catholic education, although only a fraction of Catholic youth in our community attend Catholic high school,” added Stiennon. “At St. Ambrose, we are doing our best to make a Catholic education available to more families of all economic strata.”

Emphasis on Catholic education

The Benefit Dinner also highlights the significance of Catholic education both in the Diocese of Madison and beyond. Friends and benefactors will hear from current students, faculty, and distinguished guests who will offer their insights on the importance of a Catholic education and its impact on society.

Shawn Carney, co-founder of 40 Days for Life, will give the keynote address. He will discuss how Catholic education is key to re-evangelizing the culture.

“Shawn brings a unique perspective as the founder of 40 Days for Life, a movement that began small, but has now grown into a thriving apostolate,” said Joseph Draves, the new development director at St. Ambrose.

“We hope the same for St. Ambrose Academy, that as the school continues to grow, its impact on students will contribute to the renewal of the world and salvation of souls.

“Great works are powered by generous people coming together. We invite everyone to come see and celebrate what the Lord is doing here and be part of something great!”

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