NEW HAVEN – "Charity Embraces Justice: Benedict XVI and St. Vincent de Paul" is the title of the keynote talk to be delivered at the annual Social Justice Dinner and Awards on Oct. 23 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.
The Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office for Catholic Social Justice Ministry will welcome Dr. Meghan Clark, assistant professor of theology and religious studies at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., and lay consultant to the Domestic Justice and Human Development Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as the featured speaker.
The evening will include a reception at 5 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 6.
Linda Roberto, the office’s finance, development and communications coordinator, said the event typically attracts about 450-500 members of parish groups and others interested in social justice.
"We’re hopeful that more will come this year because we’ve got exciting people who are getting awards, and we’re hoping some of those constituencies will come out to celebrate and recognize them," she said.
The Most Rev. Joseph F. Donnelly Memorial Award will be presented to an individual and to several organizations. It is awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to the communities they serve and toward the realization of the principles of Catholic social teaching:
Migdalia Almedina, a member of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Hartford, will receive the individual award for her ongoing commitment to parish social ministry and her tireless efforts on behalf of the poor.
Stamford-based HomeFront Inc. will be honored with an organization award for 25 years of offering both assistance to poor and disabled homeowners and opportunities for meaningful service to hundreds of volunteers from Connecticut and New York.
A special organization award will be presented this year to the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty (CNADP) to recognize its commitment to educating the community and to advocating for the repeal of the death penalty in Connecticut. The group’s efforts were successful in 2012.
In addition, the Dr. Charlie Schlegel Award for Cooperative Parish Sharing will be given to St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen and Emergency Food Pantry in New Haven, for its Cooperative Parish Sharing-supported project of providing hot meals and food assistance to thousands of individuals and families over more than 20 years.
Tickets to the dinner are $70, or $650 for a table of 10. They may be purchased by calling the Office for Catholic Social Justice Ministry at (203) 777-7279.
Organizers also are seeking people and parishes to purchase ads in the program booklet to recognize award winners and to celebrate their achievements.
Information about ads is available from Ms. Roberto at firstname.lastname@example.org.