Austria. The Catholic Men of Austria Foundation (KMB), with their centre in Salzburg, has granted to Fr. Gabriel Mejía, CMF, founder of the “Hogares Claret” (Claret Homes), the “Monsignor Oscar Romero 2008” Award, in recognition of his dedication to the street children and adolescents who have fallen into the world of drugs, becoming objects of violence, sexual abuse and marginalization, for his contribution in a very significant way in Colombia, to the rehabilitation of the same. The granting took place in Salzburg.
The Award of the “Catholic Men of Austria” Foundation is granted for works of social development in the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, countries where the Foundation lends services of financial cooperation as Christian fraternal solidarity.
The contribution of this award will be reinvested in “Claret Homes,” founded and directed by the said Priest. As of now, as many as 49 “Claret Homes” have been founded in Colombia.
In receiving this award, the Claretian Missionary Gabriel Mejía expressed his satisfaction and considered this prize as recognition to all the educators dedicated to the rehabilitation of the child population, victim of drugs, misery and sexual abuse in the Colombian city of Medellín. He also invoked the divine protection to obtain in a not far-away future, the so much desired peace in Colombia.
The Colombian Embassy in Austria was present in the official ceremony, where the Archbishop of Salzburg, Alois Kothgasser, and the Governor of the Department of Salzburg very effusively congratulated Fr. Gabriel Mejía, and thanked the “Catholic Men of Austria” Foundation for their work.