Friday, April 25, 2014

Salt and Light Dinner

      Last evening saw the Sixteenth Annual Communities of Salt and Light Award Dinner sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg and hosted by Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt, our Diocesan Bishop.  In 1998 the Diocese established a standard of recognition for individuals whose actions show a significant level of time, talent and treasure.  These individuals epitomize the Church's mission and the goals of Catholic Charities.  This awards dinner is one of two significant fund raising activities of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg (this dinner and an annual golf outing).  All profit from this dinner go directly into outreach to the needy in the Diocese, with no administrative or overhead costs taken from the profits.  Before last evening, the previous fifteen dinners has raised just about $900,000 which has gone directly to the needy of the area.  They do an outstanding job for an agency of its size, they have an excellent reputation, and they are under the leadership of Monsignor Raymond Riffle, the Managing Director.
Picture taken by Elisa Esasky
Stratigo's Banquet Facility
Salt and Light Award
     Last evening Catholic Charities honored Mrs. Lois Weidner of Saint Margaret Mary Parish in Lower Burrell with the Humanitarian Award.  At age 80 she has dedicated her life to the service of others in a variety of causes and endeavors, and still works twenty hours a week as a counselor and caring person.  Her acceptance speech gave credit where credit is due - to the Lord whom she loves and serves.  Also receiving the Outstanding Human Service Organization Award was a group from my home parish of Saint Joseph in Uniontown which has the name "Salt and Light Organization".  This ministry of service began ten years ago and is comprised of fourteen individuals whose outreach in Fayette County (one of the poorest in the Commonwealth) makes a substantial difference in people's lives and brings hope and joy into difficult situations.  While small in numbers, limited in resources, and facing challenging needs, they have big hearts and a relentless spirit.  This recognition is well deserved ... and as a son of the parish I am very proud of their work.

     Our dinner was fantastic, the company enjoyable, the cause very important, and I was truly blessed to once more be a part of the festivities.

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