Catholic Charities Honors Communities of Salt and Light Awardees
North Huntingdon, PA – April 22, 2022 – After a two year postponement because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg held its 22nd Annual Communities of Salt and Light Awards Dinner at Stratigos Banquet Centre in North Huntingdon on April 21. More than 500 people attended the awards dinner to recognize individuals and organizations who have given the gift of their time, talent and treasure to benefit the welfare of the residents of Westmoreland, Fayette, Indiana and Armstrong Counties.
The Communities of Salt and Light Award for Philanthropy was presented to Tom and Cathy Gothie of Greensburg. The Gothies’ are generous supporters of all three major fundraisers held by Catholic Charities and are willing to help with whatever needs arise at events. Tom is the president of the Catholic Charities board. Cathy grows and donates vegetables from her garden to local food programs. The Gothies’ are parishioners at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Greensburg.
Larry Kupec was honored with the Communities of Salt and Light Award in the Humanitarian category. A parishioner at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Lower Burrell, Kupec has been a volunteer at his parish for decades. Since 2011, he has served as the leader and coordinator of the parish food pantry, which provides food for more than 300 clients a month. He has led the altar server program for many years and is finishing a 50-year career as a high school and youth sports referee. He is a lector, extraordinary minister of holy Communion and member of the parish choir.
Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity was honored In the field of Outstanding Human Service Organization. Courtney Guerrieri, Executive Director, received the award on behalf of the organization. The local organization is one of 1,500 local affiliates in the United States. It partners with people in the community to help them build or improve a place they can call home. The local affiliate was founded in 1993 and serves all of Westmoreland County south of Route 22, as well as Murrysville, Export, Delmont and Derry. It also operates a warehouse outlet in Greensburg.
In presenting the awards, Bishop Larry J. Kulick, JCL, said in His stories, Jesus often used the metaphors of salt and light, calling his disciples the ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘ light of the world.’ “He wanted them to go out and ‘enhance’ the world and be a light in the darkness providing hope for those in need and in despair. Our awardees exemplify that call. Each and every one of them has gone out into the world to share his or her time, their talents or treasure to become the enhancement in the lives of so many others, as well as to be the beacon of hope for those in need. These men and women have become the salt and light that Jesus calls all of us to be,” Bishop Kulick said.
Over the last 22 years, the Communities of Salt and Light Awards Dinner has enabled the Diocese of Greensburg, through Catholic Charities, to distribute over $1.5 million to the poor and needy helping close to 12,000 households in the four counties of the Diocese.
Catholic Charites in the Diocese of Greensburg was established in 1954 as the primary social service arm of the Catholic Church. Rooted in the Gospel and social teaching of the church, its mission is to serve the human needs of individuals and families, regardless of their religious affiliation, and to provide leadership in building collaborative efforts with parishes and communities in addressing these needs. Catholic Charities fulfills the church’s role in the mission of charity to anyone in need by providing compassionate, competent and professional services that strengthen and support individuals, families and communities based on the value and dignity of human life.