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1/21/2013 2:11:00 PM
St. Andrew Parish awards annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards
Catholic Sentinel photo by Steve Hambuchen
Lucinda Tate speaks before the presentation of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. award at St. Andrew Parish to Msgr. Charles Lienert.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Steve Hambuchen
Lucinda Tate speaks before the presentation of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. award at St. Andrew Parish to Msgr. Charles Lienert.

St. Andrew Parish presented its annual MLK Awards at Mass on Sunday. For 11 years, the awards have been given to organizations and individuals who demonstrate leadership that addresses racial and economic injustice in Portland.

This year’s organization recipient was the community based non-profit organization Better People.

According to organizers, Better People has served more than 3,000 clients within the areas of employment, food, health care and mental health services since 1998.

Better People’s client population represent some of the communities’ most marginalized individuals and families, as well as those who have experienced incarceration and struggle to re-enter society as participating members.

The individual award for 2013 went to Msgr. Charles Lienert. Msgr. Lienert received the award for "unwavering support, services of advocacy and spiritual comfort and leadership since his ordainment in 1968."

From his work with Vietnam veterans and conscientious objectors of that war, to standing with Ceasar Chavez’ Great Grape Boycott, Msgr. Lienert has worked for decades to improve the lives of all Americans, said organizers of the event.

Msgr. Lienert Chuck works closely with Catholics, but also with impoverished and powerless communities throughout Portland.  

"His long and dedicated social justice and civil rights work continues to symbolize the character of Dr. King through advocacy of St. Andrew Parish and the many programs which he was instrumental to develop organization and grow over four decades of service," organizers said.

Related Stories:
• MLK Mass honors one of God's 'signposts'



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