The fifth annual Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award is going to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines. The Most Reverend Richard Pates is being recognized for his efforts to fight hunger at home and abroad.
Bishop Pates served a year-long term as chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. This role took him on diplomatic missions to Cuba, Iran, and the conflicted-area between Israel and Palestine. He says this work is meant to build bridges.
“Isolation spawns fear and conflict," he says. "Human contact opens the door to friendship and peace.”
Bishop Pates says he’s inspired by people such as the award’s namesake, who welcomed Southeast Asians to Iowa after the Vietnam War.
“As I reflect on my own experience, I am drawn by the generous example of those who really love people everywhere, and who want to bring the human family together,” he says.
Bishop Pates is also being honored for welcoming immigrants and refugees to Iowa, and combating hunger locally and worldwide. The World Food Prize Foundation presents the award each year around former Governor Ray’s September 26th birthday.