Fox News commentator to headline Catholic Charities gala

Special to The Log
Father Jonathan Morris

Seats for the Second Annual Dogwood Gala, presented by the Sandestin Foundation for Children, are $100. To order, contact Kelly Humphrey at 737-0864, or call Evelyn at the Catholic Charities office at 244-2825. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

When a story with religious, moral or ethical implications hits the news, Fox News Network calls on Father Jonathan Morris to bring a faith-based perspective. He is also an in-demand speaker who will headline the Second Annual Dogwood Gala on Oct. 4.

The event, which benefits the Fort Walton Beach regional office of Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida, will start at 6 p.m. at the Grand Sandestin Hotel in the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. It will feature a cocktail reception, a three-course seated dinner, musical entertainment and a silent auction.

A frequent guest on “Fox and Friends,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” and many of the cable news channel’s other programs, Morris is a best-selling author, journalist and the program director for the Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Radio.

While serving as the vice-rector of Rome’s largest seminary, Father Morris was interviewed by numerous networks, including CNN, Sky News, and the BBC, during the illness and death of Pope John Paul II in March and April of 2005. In May 2005, he signed on with Fox News Channel as a regular news analyst and contributor.

In 2008, Father Morris published “The Promise: God’s Purpose and Plan for When Life Hurts.” His second book, "God Wants You Happy — From Self-Help to God's Help," was released in April 2011. He currently serves as the parochial vicar at the historic St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York City.

 “We are so happy to be able to bring Father Morris to Northwest Florida,” said Ann Imburgio, regional director of Catholic Charities’ Fort Walton Beach office. “As a licensed mental health counselor, I have used Father’s book ‘The Promise’ with my clients, and I am really impressed with his insight and compassion.”

Deacon Walter Richardson and his wife, Helen, are serving as the honorary chairmen for the event. Walter has been a deacon in the Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocese for 33 years. He and Helen, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year, are members of St. Mary Catholic Church in Fort Walton Beach. A native of Pensacola, Walter was a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and played a key role in helping to integrate the Air Force after the war. Walter was the 1972 Air Force Outstanding Airman of the Year and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2006.