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Catholic Charities Holds Gala, Announces Bishop Gossman Award

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Catholic Charities establishes award in honor of Bishop F. Joseph Gossman

A gala recognizing the outstanding work of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Raleigh was held Saturday, April 30, 2011, with approximately 300 guests attending. The banquet, titled Celebrate God’s Gifts, was hosted by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge and the Catholic Charities Board of Directors. The gala was held at Cardinal Gibbons High School. Featured speaker was Father Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA.

Following a welcome by Mr. John Keller, Chair of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors, Father Snyder discussed the mission of Catholic Charities USA as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ humanitarian organization in the United States. The association, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010, represents more than 1,700 local agencies. Father Snyder shared its history and explained how the national organization assists its member agencies, providing training and support, especially when natural disasters strike.

Ms. Kathleen Walsh, Executive Director of Catholic Charities in the Diocese, spoke of three important components of the agency’s mission. They were the relationship between Catholic Charities USA and diocesan agencies, the collaboration between the Diocesan organization and parishes in the formation of our young people in addressing action for justice, and acknowledging the leadership of Bishop Burbidge in promoting the social mission of the Church in the Diocese of Raleigh.

In his remarks, Bishop Burbidge spoke of the “great concern and care for the most needy and vulnerable” shown by his predecessor, Bishop F. Joseph Gossman, during Bishop Gossman’s 30 years as Bishop of Raleigh. Bishop Burbidge, who serves as President of Catholic Charities in the Diocese, said it is fitting that the Diocesan organization chose to honor Bishop Gossman with an award established in his name.

Bishop Burbidge noted, “The best way for future recipients of the award and all of us to honor our beloved Bishop is to re-dedicate ourselves to continue to promote the sacredness of all human life from conception to natural death and the dignity of each person, to work on behalf of a just and peaceful society and to demonstrate through our generous deeds our concern and compassion for the unborn, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the immigrant and all those who require our assistance.” The Bishop added, “This is the work of Catholic Charities; this is the vocation that belongs to all of us; this is the legacy of Bishop Gossman.”

Ms. Walsh read the proclamation announcing the creation of the Bishop F. Joseph Gossman Community Service Award, explaining that it will be presented annually to an individual who meets the example of Bishop Gossman by working “on behalf of life, justice and peace here in eastern North Carolina and to all the places the Lord sends us.”

Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge addressing Catholic Charities Gala during which establishment of the Bishop F. Joseph Gossman Community Service Award was announced.

Below: Catholic Charities USA President, in the Diocese to keynote Gala, visiting earlier in the day at Catholic Parish Outreach and the Hispanic Family Center, operated by Catholic Charities. CPO Program Director Terry Foley explaining various programs to Father Snyder.