Catholic Charities USA and Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Sullivan to Receive Prestigious Monsignor Higgins Labor Advocacy Awards

September 01, 2004

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, will confer the third annual Monsignor George G. Higgins Labor Advocacy Awards on Catholic Charities USA and Brooklyn Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan, in recognition of their efforts to promote the dignity of work and workers’ rights, during an annual Labor Mass:

Sunday, September 12, 2004
Noon Mass / awards presented at approx. 1:00 p.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC

Presented each year by the Archdiocese of Washington, the awards honor one individual and one organization whose work and principles reflect the values and vision of Msgr. Higgins, an international leader on workers’ rights for over 50 years, until his death in 2002.

Catholic Charities USA has long been a critical national voice advocating on behalf of workers for just wages, health care, child care, job training, education and housing. CC-USA also provides training and support to more than 150 member agencies that annually serve over seven million people in times of community tragedy as well as personal need. Catholic Charities’ assistance is critical in helping people who are without work or the resources they need get back on their feet.

Bishop Sullivan, Brooklyn’s Vicar for Human Services, has dedicated much of the past 40 years to promoting the dignity and basic human rights of workers, particularly in the area of health care. He also has been a leader in resolving labor-management conflicts, always without sacrificing his principles and values, and an advocate for just social policies that support working families. He is a former episcopal liaison to and member of the board of Catholic Charities USA, and is a past chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Social Development and World Peace.

Previous awardees were the Catholic Legal Immigration Network; National Catholic Rural Life Conference; AFL-CIO president John Sweeney; and Mr. John Carr, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretary for Social Development and World Peace.

Msgr. Higgins assisted the U.S. bishops on social action issues from 1944-1980, then served as a lecturer on labor and social ethics at The Catholic University of America for 20 years. He was instrumental in the early days of the United Farm Workers; a liaison between the Polish union, Solidarity, and U.S. unions in the 1980s; and chair of the United Auto Workers’ Public Review Board, 1946-2000.

Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
[email protected]