The Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office for Catholic Social Justice Ministry (OCSJM) will present awards for exceptional efforts in social justice ministry at its annual dinner on Oct. 24 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. It will begin with a reception at 5 p.m.
This year, OCSJM will honor Attorney Peter G. Kelly with the Most Reverend Joseph P. Donnelly Individual Award for his local, national and international social justice work. Locally, he is among the founders of Malta House of Care and served as a director at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell and at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.
Nationally, he served two presidents and focused heavily on the United States Senate and House campaign committees. His personal focus was on such issues as immigration, community development and fair housing. Internationally he has worked with people subjected to abuse and oppression in places like Nicaragua, Chile and Russia. In South Africa, he served as a leader of the peace process following the 1992 elections. He was an organizer of its electoral process after the removal of apartheid. Over the past dozen years he has focused his attention on the interface of Islam with the West, and in the process was a creator of the International Conference of Middle East Studies.
Two other awards will be given.
St. Vincent de Paul Mission of Waterbury will receive the Organization Award for its work toward eliminating the root causes of homelessness in Greater Waterbury. The mission goes beyond being the largest homeless shelter in Connecticut; it also manages a soup kitchen, food pantry, thrift store, group home, mental health facilities and supportive housing. Deacon Paul Iadorola, CEO for the past 40 years, will accept the award.
The Dr. Charlie Schlegel Award for Cooperative Parish Sharing will be presented to St. Augustine Parish in Hartford for its St. Monica Women’s Support Group, which helps low-income women gain the confidence and skills to rediscover their dignity and become active members of their community. Through weekly meetings and outings, the women address economic and family issues.
Sister of Mercy Kathleen Erickson will be the guest speaker.
Sister Kathleen has a background in education and administration. She spent 18 years at the U.S./Mexican border, where she co-founded a learning center for immigrant women and also coordinated immersion trips into Juarez, Mexico. For more than two years, she provided spiritual counseling to undocumented women in the Federal Detention Center in El Paso, Texas. In Omaha, Neb., she initiated the immigrant Detainee Accompaniment Program for Douglas County Corrections. She was an international observer for the Honduran election of November 2013; spent five weeks in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in the spring of 2014, and in April and May of 2015, she was an interim chaplain at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.
Sister Kathleen will share her reflections on immigration and detentions of women and children at the border in her keynote address, “What Immigration Has To Teach Us About Who We Are”.
For tickets, call OCSJM at860.242.5573 or visit the website at www.catholicsocialjustice.org.