The sixth annual dinner in honor of the Saint John Paul II Award for the New Evangelization was held on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. The Catholic Information Center was proud to honor Reverend Arne Panula. Father Arne’s life as a priest was the very epitome of the evangelization called for by Saint John Paul II. Though his ministry work spanning more than four decades, Fr. Arne demonstrated an indefatigable commitment to the spiritual well-being of all those who cross his path.

About the 2017 Recipient

Fr. Arne Panula

Fr. Arne Panula, a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei and ordained in 1973, was appointed Director of the Catholic Information Center by His Excellency, Donald Wuerl in September 2007. As of March 30th, Fr. Panula serves as Director Emeritus. A graduate of Harvard College in 1967, Fr. Panula subsequently earned a doctorate in Theology from the University of Navarre, in Pamplona, Spain. After ordination, he served as chaplain of The Heights School in the mid-1970’s. Thereafter, for almost twenty years, he exercised his ministry in Northern California working with high-school and later with university students. Beginning in 1988, he carried out administrative responsibilities for Opus Dei in California for a decade, and in 1998, the Prelate of Opus Dei appointed him Vicar of the Prelature of Opus Dei for the United States, in New York. For his last five years in New York, he was the Spiritual Director of the Prelature of Opus Dei for the United States.

About the 2017 Speakers

Eddie and Alice LaCour

Tribute Presenters
Alumni, 2015 Leonine Fellows

Alice LaCour is a counselor to the Attorney General at the Department of Justice. Prior to working for the Attorney General, she served in DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy, supporting the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch.  For that work, Alice received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, DOJ’s second highest award for employee performance.  Alice also previously served as a trial attorney in DOJ’s Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, where she defended federal agencies and officials in high-profile civil litigation.  Before joining DOJ, Alice clerked for the Hon. Keith P. Ellison of the Southern District of Texas and the Hon. Jennifer Walker Elrod of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Alice received her J.D. from Yale Law School and B.A. from Washington and Lee University.   

Eddie LaCour is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where his practice focuses on appellate litigation and strategic counseling.  He has represented numerous clients before the Supreme Court, as well as courts of appeals and trial courts, and his work has spanned a wide range of issues, including federal jurisdiction, religious liberty, and the Second Amendment.  Before joining Kirkland, Eddie practiced at Bancroft PLLC and Baker Botts LLP.  Eddie clerked for the Hon. William H. Pryor Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  Eddie holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M. Phil. from Trinity College Dublin, and a B.A. from Birmingham-Southern College.

Mary Eberstadt

Tribute Presenter
Senior Research Fellow, Faith and Reason Institute

Mary Eberstadt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute. She is an essayist, novelist, and author of several influential works of non-fiction, including How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization; Adam and Eve after the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution; and Home- Alone America. Her 2010 novel, The Loser Letters, was recently adapted for stage and premiered at the Catholic University of America’s Hartke Theater in Fall 2016. A frequent contributor to magazines and journals including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and First Things, Mrs. Eberstadt has also served as an editor at The Public Interest, The National Interest, and Policy Review. In 2011, she founded a literary organization called the Kirkpatrick Society that has mentored hundreds of writers. During the Reagan administration, Mrs. Eberstadt spent two years as a speechwriter to Secretary of State George Shultz. She graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a double major in philosophy and government. She lives in the Washington, DC area.

Thomas Yannucci

Chairman’s Remarks
Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Thomas D. Yannucci is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office of
Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Chair Emeritus of Kirkland’s Firmwide Management Committee. He was a member of Kirkland’s Management Committee from 1995 until 2011, and served as its Chair, beginning in 2001. During his time as Chair, Kirkland doubled in size from 800 lawyers in five offices to 1600 lawyers in ten offices, and Firm annual revenues grew from $800 million to nearly $2 billion. After serving as Chair, he resumed his practice on a full-time basis, and serves as the Co-Chair of Kirkland’s Firmwide Pro Bono Committee, which oversees more than 100,000 hours of free legal services around the world. For several years, he has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, teaching a First Amendment seminar as well as a Trial Advocacy course. He has been a Member of the Board of Visitors for Notre Dame Law School since 2000, and was Chairman of the Board of Visitors for the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University until earlier this year. Tom and his wife Lisa have three children and five grand-children, and own and operate a cattle farm in the Shenandoah Valley.


Fr. Charles Trullols

Director’s Remarks
Director, Catholic Information Center

Fr. Charles Trullols is the Director of the Catholic Information Center, appointed by His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl in March 2017. He is also an assistant of the theology department at the Oakcrest School in Virginia. Originally from Barcelona, Spain, where he graduated from the Viaro Global School, he then earned his architecture degree from the School of Architecture of Barcelona. He then moved to Rome where he studied Theology. He earned a PhD in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and worked for four years at the headquarters of Opus Dei.

He was ordained a priest in Rome for the Prelature of Opus Dei in 2006. Following his ordination, he was assigned to work in Granada, Spain as Chaplain of Mulhacén School. In 2008 he moved to the United States and lived in Pittsburgh, PA and in South Bend, IN, where he served the pastoral needs of the Prelature of Opus Dei and exercised his ministry with college students. In 2012 he moved to Chicago and was appointed Spiritual Director of the Prelature of Opus Dei in the Midwest.

Tribute Videos

To watch videos from previous year’s dinners click here.


For more pictures from the 2017 dinner click here.

For pictures from the 2016 event click here.