On Thursday, 24 October, Catholic Community Services (CCS) honored the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with an award for service to others at CCS’s annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner.
“[The Presiding Bishopric] have been an invaluable help to us at Catholic Community Services,” said The Most Reverend John C. Wester, bishop of Salt Lake City, in a tribute video produced by CCS and shown at the event.
Presiding Bishop Gary E. Stevenson noted what a wonderful example of service the Catholic Church provides.
“[God’s] divine counsel to His children to be faithful, succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees applies to each of us as a tutorial in the way we should treat our fellow men,” Bishop Stevenson said. “The example of this by our brothers and sisters who honor us here tonight is truly inspiring.”
Bishop Dean M. Davies, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, called it a “humbling experience” to be honored by CCS.
“We consider it a blessing and privilege to be involved with each of you and with the Catholic Church and Catholic Community Services in caring for the poor and the needy,” he said. “That men and women and families of all faiths and persuasions come together to address these significant and worthy causes should not surprise us. Working together to care for those in need is simply what He would do. It is the Lord’s way and reflects the love, respect and compassion we hold in our hearts for our Father’s children everywhere.”
Bishop Gérald Caussé, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, was traveling in Africa but shared his prerecorded thoughts in a video. He said the quality of the services CCS provides in Utah has impressed him since he arrived here 18 months ago.
“I would like also to express my deep admiration to CCS for the services that they render in the community,” Bishop Caussé said. “I have been impressed with how much we collaborate in such a spirit of unity on so many common topics. Thank you for letting us join you in such a great cause.”
The Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have enjoyed a partnership in charity and humanitarian outreach for decades.
“The fact that we have such a wonderful relationship with the Catholic Church and the leaders of the Catholic Church ... goes back a long time,” said M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the CCS tribute video. “I think Heavenly Father will smile upon our cooperative efforts. We admire and appreciate the great work of the Catholic Church,” he said.
Both churches continue to work with other faith-based and community groups in assisting the poor.
In addressing all the award recipients, Bishop Wester said, “My dear friends, each of you here tonight will be judged well, because of your love, evidence in your support of CCS, through which you reach out to so many of our brothers and sisters.”
Other honorees included former professional basketball coach Frank Layden and his wife, Barbara (Humanitarians of the Year); the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center at the University of Utah (Partner of the Year); St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room chef Jeff Bailey (Employee of the Year); and 10-year-old Armani McFarland (Unsung Hero).