7/19/2013 3:24:00 PM Banquet honors those who unite to change societal problems
Archbishop Alexander K. Sample and Matt Cato pose with recipients of the local and national
Social justice activists and their supporters gathered last night at the Archdiocese of Portland pastoral center for a banquet honoring winners of the 2013 Catholic Campaign for Human Development grants.
Matt Cato, director of the Office of Life, Justice and Peace, opened the presentation by thanking the communities who organize to change societal problems.
Cato said the grant recipients had "passions and opinions connected by the mission 'to inspire and form Catholic disciples to build God's kingdom of justice and faithfully witness his life,' starting here in the Archdiocese of Portland."
Among the recipients was Javier Quiroz, a coordinator from the Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality. His organization empowers youth to take on leadership roles and helps parents get more involved in their children's education. Their program started small but is now offered in nearly 100 schools in Oregon.
Archdiocesan CCHD committee member Maria Lopez said there were many great applicants for the grants, but she looked for organizations that were well-structured with a clear vision and that could use the funds to empower others.
"[These organizations] are proactive and benefitting from growth and formation in the community," she said. "They are for the people, by the people."