Catholic Charities USA to Launch National Dr. King Award on MLK Holiday

Jan 15, 2010, 09:03 ET from Catholic Charities USA

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catholic Charities USA, joined by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, will celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday by making history sponsoring the first national "Keep the Dream Alive Mass and Award." This historic Mass will observe the 25th anniversary of the King holiday by recognizing four national figures who are keeping his dream alive. The event will take place this Monday, January 18, 2010, at St. Aloysius Church in Washington, DC, in the shadows of the U.S. Capitol at 10 am.


Fr. Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA will present the "Keep the Dream Alive Award" to Allison Boisvert, Social Justice Minister for the Pax Christi Catholic Community in Eden Prairie, MN; Dr. Arturo Chavez, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Mexican American College and Cultural Center in San Antonio, TX; and Ralph McCloud, Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. Mr. Edward Orziekowski, the President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington will honor Rev. Raymond Kemp, STL, a Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, with the "Faith Does Justice" Award. Bp. Martin D. Holley, DD, of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, will celebrate the liturgy and preach the homily.

"As we celebrate our Centennial Year by renewing our commitment to reduce poverty in America, we join the nation in honoring the Rev. Dr. King as a great champion of the struggle to reduce poverty," said Fr. Larry Snyder, the President of Catholic Charities USA. "We will present this award annually to national figures who inspire the nation to keep the dream alive by their life work of reducing poverty in America."

The Rev. Dr. Clarence Williams, CPPS, senior director of racial equality and diversity initiatives, noted, "Last year Catholic Charities USA launched its paper entitled 'Poverty and Racism: Overlapping Threats to the Common Good' in Detroit's Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in their 'Keep the Dream Alive Mass and Award.' As we open our Centennial Year, we are bestowing on these four national leaders this coveted lifetime recognition for those who have advocated for and given service to the poor."

For more information about the Awards and the Award winners, please visit our Web site at

Catholic Charities USA's members—more than 1,700 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions nationwide—provide help and create hope for 8.5 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial anniversary. For more information, visit

SOURCE Catholic Charities USA