Justice for ALL winners to be honored April 29

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CAMDEN — Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, Inc. announces its 2010 Justice for ALL honorees.

This year Catholic Charities will honor three individuals — Alyce Parker, Robert Healey and Sister Helen Owens — and Catholic Charities USA.

The awards will be presented at the seventh annual Justice for ALL Awards Dinner and ceremony on Thursday, April 29, at the Adelphia Grand Ballroom in Deptford.

— Alyce Parker, who is being honored with the Sister Grace Nolan Award for Social Ministry, is the vice president of public affairs for Harrah’s Entertainment, the world’s largest gaming and entertainment company.

She is directly responsible for all media, governmental and community relations for five locations in Atlantic City: Harrah’s Resort, Bally’s, Showboat, Caesars and the Atlantic City Country Club. Throughout her career Parker has supported many people and agencies in South Jersey. She has worked with hospitals, youth organizations and government agencies.

Through her community involvement, she has developed a relationship with Catholic Charities and supports its mission of service to over 40,000 individuals and families throughout South Jersey. She especially sees the value of Catholic Charity’s service to the poor and needy on an inclusive, non-discriminatory, non-sectarian basis.

— Robert T. Healey is this year’s recipient of The Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Award for Leadership.

He has brought his entrepreneurial spirit to many philanthropic ventures. He combines a commitment to Catholic values with the drive of a business executive who has been part of many successful ventures.

In addition to practicing law for 25 years in New Jersey’s state and federal courts, Healey joined his brother, Bill, in founding Viking Yacht Company. With Bob concentrating on the financial and business sides and Bill focusing on the design, engineering, production and performance side, the brothers grew their partnership into the Viking Group, comprising the Viking Yacht Company, Viking Sport Cruisers, and five other marine businesses.

A commitment to Catholic values led Healey to devote considerable time and resources to the church, especially in the field of education. He considers the revitalization of Catholic schools to be his personal ministry.

— Sister Helen Owens is the 2010 recipient of the Msgr. Michael Doyle and Msgr. Robert McDermott Award for Parish and Community Ministry.

A native of the Bronx, she worked as a mission nurse in Bolivia in the 1960s and 1970s before joining Our Lady of Lourdes in 1979 as director of community health education. That year, she established the Lourdes Wellness Center, the first hospital-based health program geared to improve residents’ health and lifestyle.

In 1980, she founded The Bridge, a nationally recognized program that positively supports the psychological, social and spiritual needs of adolescents. In 1993, Sister Helen developed the Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, and in 2003 was instrumental in opening Lourdes’ integrative family medicine practice, which blends complementary care with mainstream medicine.

Vice president since 1986, she is responsible for promoting Lourdes’ mission, vision and values throughout the organization.

Sister Helen is a living example of the mission of Lourdes Health System of “serving all with reverence, compassion and integrity in a simple, joyful and hospitable manner,” Catholic Charities said in a statement. Her fervent commitment to the institution’s core values of service, quality, stewardship, people, innovation and community is reflected in all aspects of her daily life and work. The essence of her ministry has been in reverence to human dignity by tending to the whole person — not only their physical health, but also their mental, emotional and spiritual health.

— In honor of 100 years of helping others, Catholic Charities USA is being awarded the Peter J. O’Connor Award for Social Justice.

Since 1910 Catholic Charities USA has been providing service to people in need, advocating for justice in social structures, and has called the entire church and other people of good will to do the same.

Through their leadership Catholic Charities USA has assisted its membership, particularly the diocesan Catholic Charities agencies and supporting group members, in their mission of service, advocacy and convening. Believing in the presence of God in their midst, they proclaim the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person by sharing in the mission of Jesus given to the church. To this end, Catholic Charities USA works with individuals, families and communities to help them meet their needs, address their issues, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society.

“Every year we are challenged by the process of selecting individuals and organizations that we can recognize with our Justice for ALL annual awards dinner,” said Kevin Hickey, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, Inc.

“I am confident you will find each of the 2010 honorees to be not only inspirational but also beacons of hope in a time where our nation and its people are feeling challenged—it’s through celebrating their outstanding work that we spread the good word and encourage others to join in giving back in whatever way they can,” he said.

The awards for leadership, parish/community ministry, social ministry and social justice will be presented at the seventh annual Justice for ALL Awards Dinner and ceremony on Thursday, April 29, at the Adelphia Grand Ballroom located at 1750 Clements Road in Deptford.

All proceeds will be used to provide direct assistance to clients in all six counties of the diocese: Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem. The 2009 Justice for ALL Awards Dinner raised more than $126,000 which, in turn, will allow the agency to provide direct client services to more than 1,800 families and individuals. This money is being used to end crises and to prevent eviction, utility disconnection (electric, gas and oil), and to provide food and prescription needs and create stabilization within families.

For information on attending the dinner and sponsorship/ad book opportunities, contact Giovina Price at 856-583-6126.