DENVER — The Catholic Sentinel and El Centinela garnered 20 awards from the Catholic Press Association for work done during 2012. The honors include first place awards for Archbishop Emeritus John Vlazny’s column on child sexual abuse. The piece, titled “A child betrayed,” was judged the best regular column by a bishop in English-language Catholic newspapers and the best column of any kind in the Spanish language Catholic press.
“What a difficult message,” judges wrote. “Doesn’t get any tougher than this. And a perfect response, too; all facts and grace. Everybody should read this.”
In addition, Archbishop Vlazny’s essay on religious liberty won first place for a column by a bishop in Spanish newspapers.
Rocío Rios, El Centinela editor, and freelancer Maria Osterroth teamed up to win first place for coverage of immigration. Their piece on deportation covered individual teenagers and families and pointed out dubious law-enforcement policies and the insights of sociologists and economists. The judges say Kim Nguyen’s photos added to the coverage. Freelance writer Antonio Andraus Burgos of El Centinela won first place for a piece on Colombians seeking peace for their nation.
Rios and Clarice Keating of the Sentinel worked together on a story about the Sisters at the Grotto which won first place among Spanish newspapers for best vocations coverage.
Rios repeated by winning first place for individual excellence among writers in the Spanish language Catholic press. Judges lauded the investigative work she did this year. El Centinela’s website —elecentinelacatolico.org — was judged best of Spanish language news organizations.
Second place awards went to El Centinela for Rios’ story on detention of immigrants, Osterroth’s piece on the police and deportation and the paper’s overall coverage of the Year of Faith. The paper garnered third place in the general excellence category among Spanish language newspapers and third place for Rios’ profile of Argentinians living in Portland.
Honorable mention went to Katy Devine’s Spanish translation of Keating’s history-minded story on a group of pioneer immigrants in Oregon. Burgos received honorable mention for his work on the employment situation in Mexico.
The Sentinel, competing this year against Catholic newspapers in the nation’s largest cities, won a handful of honorable mentions. Keating was noted for two stories, one about an organization that provides prom dresses for low-income girls and another on shootings of homeless Portlanders.
Her photo of a homeless man and his 4-year-old son also won honorable mention. Staff writer Ed Langlois received honorable mention for a story on refugee families from Congo and Nepal and a profile of St. Francis in Roy, a rural Catholic school.
The newspapers are part of music publishing company OCP. John Limb, OCP publisher, thanked Archbishop Vlazny for his years of writing and other service and congratulated him on “well-deserved honors.”