Barbara Budde honored for commitment to social justice

By Catholic Spirit Staff

Barbara Budde, a lay Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, was honored with a Servant of Justice Award from Roundtable, the association of Catholic diocesan social justice directors, at an awards banquet being held during the organization’s 29th Annual Symposium in Washington.
Budde has worked for Diocese of Austin in various roles since 2000 and currently serves as the Secretariat Director for Justice and Charity. In addition, she is in her third term as a member of the Roundtable board, having served two terms from February 2005 to February 2011. She was the Board Chair during Roundtable’s transition from the auspices of the National Pastoral Life Center to its own independent 501(c)3 organization in 2009. 
Budde was chosen for the award largely for her leadership of the organization during that challenging time of change.
“I am humbled,” Budde said upon receiving the award. “My participation [in the transition] was an accident of history. I could have been on the board at another time and another board chair would have brought his or her gifts to this challenge.”
She also expressed deep gratitude to all the board members who served with her during that time, recognizing the many contributions they brought. She made particular mention of Robert Gorman, Rob Shelledy, and Scott Cooper, who received the award alongside her. “No one of us could do this alone, I am grateful that the team is being recognized,” she said.
The Servant of Justice Award honors a Roundtable member or former member who has made unique contributions to the achievement of the Catholic vision of social justice in their diocese or region. Instituted in 2010, the award honors individuals whose work has made an impact on significant numbers of people, has helped in eliminating social, economic, or political injustice or discrimination, or has helped in safeguarding basic human dignity and rights as defined in Catholic social thought. Recipients also “have shown evidence of linking faith and justice, in light of Catholic social teaching, through education which leads to action (advocacy, empowerment, and organizing) on issues, policies, or social structures that contribute to the building of God’s kingdom on Earth.”

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