NEW YORK — Aid to the Church in Need has been named the 2019 recipient of the Path to Peace Award.
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and president of the Path to Peace Foundation, said the organization is being honored for its humanitarian and pastoral work in support of persecuted Christians around the world.
“It is a great honor for Aid to the Church Need to receive this prestigious award,” George Marlin, chairman of Aid to the Church in Need USA, wrote in a statement April 11. “This recognition of our work on behalf of the suffering and persecuted Church around the world is a tribute to the generosity and faithfulness of our donors.”
Thomas Heine-Geldern, executive president of Aid to the Church in Need International, will accept the award during a celebration May 22 in New York.
Aid to the Church in Need annually supports 5,000 projects in more than 140 countries. In 2018, the organization distributed more than $100 million for the construction of churches and chapels; the training of seminarians, men and women religious and lay catechists; emergency aid; transportation for church ministers; and numerous other Church-based programs.
Previous award recipients have included Cardinal Mario Zenari, papal nuncio to Syria, and the Santa Marta Group, an international alliance of police chiefs and church leaders collaborating to eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery.
The Path to Peace Foundation supports the Vatican’s U.N. permanent observer mission and funds humanitarian projects in developing countries. It was established in 1991 to extend the mission’s work beyond diplomatic efforts.
Aid to the Church in Need was founded in 1947 by Norbertine Father Werenfried van Straaten, a Dutch priest who sought to meet the needs of refugees and displaced people in Germany after World War II. It has been recognized as a papal foundation since 2011.