On Thursday night, about three hundred Commonwealers descended on Chelsea Piers in Manhattan to celebrate the magazine and to honor Georgetown president John DeGioia, recipient of the third Catholic in the Public Square Award. Most guests traveled from nearby places, but some came from far-off spots -- such as long-time supporter (and dotCommonweal regular) John Borst, who trekked all the way from western Ontario. (I'm reliably informed that -- unlike last time -- he managed to make the trip without encountering any bears.) And all of us were treated to amusing, thoughtful, and rousing talks delivered by Editor Paul Baumann, Board President Dennis O'Brien, E. J. Dionne Jr. (who introduced DeGioia), and of course DeGioia himself, who spoke movingly about that often-forgotten bedrock of our political life: the common good. Even the brief video portion of the evening -- featuring some familiar supporters -- was great. (As soon as we have that uploaded I'll let you know. UPDATE: Done, see below.)We've held two other Commonweal Conversations dinners: one in 2005, honoring Mark Shields, and another in 2009, honoring Tim Shriver. Like those events, this one was a great success -- thanks to the ministrations of Development Director Christa Kerber, Publisher Tom Baker, and event chair Leo O'Donovan, SJ, whose generosity is evidently boundless. (And once again,Events by Ny made sure the evening went off without a hitch.) It's always delightful to see old friends and to meet new ones. Like a wedding without the terrible DJ, only better. And it's always vivifying to hear words of encouragement and appreciation from our supporters. And to see it -- those tickets cost real money. To all who helped pull off the event so gracefully, and to those whose beneficence keeps Commonweal in the black -- and allows us to grow -- our deepest gratitude. And to those who couldn't make it: see you next time.