Thursday night was a night to honor Bishop Howard Hubbard, as Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany presented him with its 2013 Humanitarian Award at the State Museum.
“I’m very humbled to receive this award because of the great affection I have for Catholic Charities,” the bishop said.
“I’ve been apart of the Catholic Charities since my early priesthood. To see how it’s grown and flourished through the years from three counties to all 14 counties … and to see services extended has been one of the great joys of my priesthood. For that reason, I’m very happy to be associated with them.”
Hubbard is the Catholic Charities’ first recipient of the Humanitarian Award, one that recognizes his “lifetime service to the poor” and community.
“He has always had a devotion to the poor,” said Molly Nicol, director of development at Catholic Charities. “He started in the [Albany] South End as a “street priest” and has then contributed to Catholic Charities throughout his career. He is very special and very precious to [Capital Charities and] he works side by side with us.”
When Capital Charities CEO Vincent Colonno nominated Bishop Hubbard for the award, he said it was clear that the bishop deserved the award more than any other nominee.
“You’re talking 50 years of service to begin with. You’re talking about someone who has a passion for the poor and the vulnerable. You’re talking about someone who is a true leader in this diocese,” said Colonno. “It’s a slam dunk. There’s no way that we were not going to pick him.”
Not only is Bishop Hubbard an important figure for the area’s Roman Catholics, but his impact is felt throughout the community as well.
“He’s brought together a number of different faces and a number of different community leaders to solve some of the problems we have here in the community,” said Nicol. “He was one of the first people to start a home for addiction [Hope House]. He was also one of the first people to address the AIDs epidemic in Albany. He has a tendency to bring people together to collaborate and solve problems.”
The Humanitarian Award will be called the Bishop Howard Hubbard Humanitarian Award in the future, to further honor the bishop who soon will be ending his tenure.
Bishop Hubbard was not the only person honored by Catholic Charities at the State Museum Thursday night. Kenneth Raymond received the Sister Mauree Joyce Charities Award. He received the award because of his “years of service to the system of Catholic Charities.”