Sunds receives 25th Monsignor Burns Award for Community Service

By Staff
MONSIGNOR BURNS AWARD The Rev. Elvin Sunds, pastor of St. Patrick and St. Joseph's Catholic Churches in Meridian and the Good Shepherd Mission in Quitman, holds the 25th Monsignor Burns Award for Community Service plaque outside St. Patrick. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star.
special to The Star
July 11, 2004
The Rev. Elvin Sunds, pastor of St. Patrick and St. Joseph's Catholic Churches in Meridian and the Good Shepherd Mission in Quitman, was awarded the Monsignor John J. Burns Award for Community Service at a recent dinner.
The award was presented for the 25th time by the Meridian Council No. 802 of the Knights of Columbus. It was instituted by the late Connie Moore to recognize citizens who go "above and beyond" in their involvement in community activities.
In a letter to Sunds, Mayor John Robert Smith a Burns Award recipient in 1996 said "much of this spiritual presence can be attributed to your service to your congregation, the community and to me personally."
At the presentation ceremony, Callie Cole, director of Multi County Community Service Agency, thanked Sunds for his dedication to programs that benefit the less fortunate.
Linda Raff, director of Catholic Charities, saluted Sunds for his leadership as director of Catholic Charities. Raff said she thought the award was long overdue.
The Rev. Raymon Leake, pastor of First Baptist Church, said, "You have been a tireless advocate of social justice and have made an effort to be as inclusive as possible with minorities insisting that they have a place at the table."
Leake also lauded Sunds' involvement with Hope Village for Children.
Sunds said he was humbled by the award and thanked the Knights for their involvement in various community activities as well.
Sunds joins a distinguished list of recipients including the late U.S. Sen. John Stennis, Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie, Nell Grissom of Wesley House and Bill Crawford.

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