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Catholic agency hails LDS leader

Pres. Hinckley gets premiere award for humanitarianism

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Catholic Community Services of Utah on Tuesday bestowed its premiere Distinguished Humanitarian Award on the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Gordon B. Hinckley was praised for his selfless service and work to facilitate help for those in need, both in the community and across the globe.

"We realize that we could not meet the needs of so many people without the assistance of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and for that, we are most grateful," said Pamela Atkinson, chairwoman of Catholic Community Services' Annual Community Service Awards Dinner, where President Hinckley and others were honored. "You epitomize the teachings of Jesus Christ, and (we) thank you for your service."

In accepting the award, President Hinckley praised associates in the LDS and other churches.

"It is our responsibility as church people, regardless of our denominational affiliations, to reach out . . . not only locally but across this broad earth," President Hinckley told hundreds of people gathered at the fund-raising dinner at the Marriott Downtown. "We may have theological differences among us.

but we all have one common responsibility to help those in need and distress."

Also recognized for humanitarian efforts were the Interfaith Hospitality Network, which offers homeless families meals, shelter and support services, and the Good Samaritan Program at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, which provides food and other resources to people in need.

"The need indeed is very great," said the Rev. Joseph Mayo, rector of the cathedral. "The program simply would not exist . . . (without people's) well-meaning intentions . . . to help those less fortunate."

Catholic Community Services helps some 55,000 families and the elderly every year through 16 different programs. Aid, including food, shelter and immigration and adoption services, is extended regardless of race, religion or other personal factors.

E-mail: jtcook@desnews.com