The Church has worked alongside the poor throughout its history and in 1897, the first ever Caritas, was founded in Germany. Out of the suffering of two world wars, the need for a national Catholic humanitarian organization was seen as a critical intervention in a world in tatters, and Caritas was born and begun to grow and flourish in North America and Europe.

Caritas Awards, (Caritas, being a Latin word for love and compassion) are given to individuals, anonymously nominated from different walks of life in society, for a distinguishing trait; attainment; or accomplishment in advancing the course of the human condition.

To this end, on 24th October 2000, The founder of The KENYA-USA CHRISTIAN RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT, INC, one SIMON KIMATU MAWEU was fortunate to find himself among the ranks of those who, that year, rose to this criteria and was nominated to be one of the recipients of  the prestigious Caritas Award in recognition of his efforts in convening people and communities together in the US and in Africa “for the purpose of effecting Social Justice at local, national and international level”.

The by-product of the event was the limelight it cast on his efforts to improve life in rural parts of Kenya, and more especially, in one of the poorest counties of that country, Makueni.

The occasion took place at the Five Star Parsippany Hilton Hotel in Morris County New Jersey. Many distinguished guests attended the gala. Bishop Rodimer, the primate of the Diocese of Paterson marked the high point of the evening by delivering a brief address to explain the reason for the night’s event after which he proceeded to present honorees with the 2000 Caritas Awards.

For me, it would become one of the noblest events for the rest of my life as I strove to chart a new course and along the way new horizons in the furtherance of the KUSARD cause. It was a very humbling event.
Reverend Patrick Rice of St. Catherine of Sienna; Mr. Martin Sheen, the famous movie star, and KUSARD’s President, Mr. Simon Kimatu Maweu, were the distinguished honorees of the Caritas Award that year and we all felt exceedingly honored, yet at the same time chastened by the recognition and the prestige associated with the Award.



” I want to extend personal greetings to Bishop Rodimer, Fr.Ed. Lambro and all of you present at this evening’s Caritas Awards Gala. I am very disappointed that my schedule with the “West Wing” show has made it impossible for me to be with you tonight. But please know that I feel privileged to have been selected as one of your honorees – especially considering the other distinguished Caritas 2000 recipients.
It is my hope that Fr. Pat Rice, Mr. Simon Maweu and all the members of the Samaritan Project at Resurrection Church, will continue to inspire others to lives of self sacrifice. Programs like the Caritas Awards help to shine a spotlight on the goodness that lies within each of us.
Congratulations on this special occasion.
Enjoy the evening
Martin Sheen

Fr. Pat Rice:
“I want to thank Bishop Frank J. Rodimer and the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Paterson for this special honor. I am humbled and overwhelmed by their thoughtful kindness. The commitment of the Catholic Charities Agencies to their Mission, “To provide social services and address the needs of individuals, families, and groups in our community, especially the poor, to advocate for justice, and to convene the persons to do the same,” is an extraordinary gift to our Church. It has been a privilege for me to work with the members of the Justice and Peace Commission, and to witness their dedication to justice seeking and peacemaking. I am grateful to the members of St. Cathines of Siena Parish, who through their adoption of Our Lady of the Nativity Parish in Dame Marie, Haiti, express solidarity with the poor. I am also impressed by the young people who gave up part of their summer vacation to work with the poor at the Catholic Heart Workcamps and the Nazareth Farm in West Virginia.
Through Baptism, each one of us is called to the ministry of justice. 

The US Bishops in their pastoral letter, “Everyday Christians Hunger and Thirst for Justice,” to be a, “peace-maker”. Catholics are called by God to protect human life, to promote human dignity, to defend those who are poor, and to seek the common good. This social mission of the Church belongs to all of us. It is an essential part of what it is to be a believer.”
It is my hope that the prayer of Cardinal Henri de Lubac will encourage all of us to promote the Justice that is at the heart of the reign of God. “If I lack love and justice, I separate myself completely from you, God, and my adoration is nothing more than idolatry. To believe in you, I must believe in love and in Justice, and to believe in these things is worth a thousand times more than saying your Name.
Wish Warm Wishes in Christ,
Rev. Patrick Rice.

First and foremost, I wish to thank my nominees for the “CARITAS 2000 AWARD”. Yet at the same time I must confess that the news came to me as a complete surprise because up to now I had not conceived my efforts to highlight problems of the poor in Africa as of any significance or worth of note. This recognition, however, has done one thing for me. It has convinced me that anything we do to improve the human condition counts and one should not be discouraged by thinking one’s efforts are too small to make a difference. If one is doing one’s best for a cause that one believes in, then may be one is doing all that can be expected of him or her. As Margaret Deland said,” A pint can’t hold a quart – if it holds a pint it is doing all that can be expected of it.”
This is what this award had done for me; Given me a fresh breath of hope and renewed energy to continue with my work to minister to the poor.
Many Thanks to one and all