At a special awards ceremony and reception on August 2, Sisters Hilary Hooks, CDP; Margaret Mertens, CDP; Zita Telkamp, CDP; Therese Cunningham, SHSp; and Associate Marlene McClain were presented the 2019 Ketteler Award for Social Justice for their faithful dedication to the clients of La Posada Providencia.
Located in San Benito, Texas, La Posada is a ministry for people in crisis from around the world who are seeking legal refuge in this country. The shelter staff provides a safe and welcoming home, mentors to promote self-sufficiency and cultural integration, and imparts values which witness God’s Providence in our world.
For many years these Sisters and volunteers have ministered at La Posada and have served over 10,000 clients from many countries since its beginning. When volunteers are there to help sort clothes, paint buildings, mow the lawn, or help tutor clients in ESL classes, they are touched by the horrific pain and hardships endured by clients as they share their stories of arriving on the doorstep of La Posada. “Your heart cannot help but be touched by the stories you hear,” said a CDP associate, Rose Vierdag, of her visit there last Fall.
In 1998, the Sisters of Divine Providence instituted the Ketteler Award to honor individuals who demonstrate a strong commitment to social justice. The award is named for Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler, Bishop of Mainz, Germany, co-founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence, and tireless fighter for the rights of the working class. He was bishop from 1850 until his death in 1877, at the age of 65.