Monday, June 27, 2005

Father Bill Leininger Honored by Immigrant Rights Group

On May 12, 2005, Father Bill Leininger, retired priest from the Diocese of San Jose and long-time community activist was honored with an Advocate Award from SIREN (Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network). In giving the award, Mr. Gil Villagran, SIREN Board Member recalled Fr. Bill's four decades of solidarity work with the poor, including being a part of the founding of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) over thirty years ago.

Father Leininger last served as pastor of Church of the Transfiguration in San Jose from 1981-1997 and is a current member of the Human Concerns Commission for the Diocese and a member of the CCHD local grant committee. In receiving the award, Father Leininger said that he didn't feel he should be singled out; that it is really about being part of a movement. He mentioned that he has always felt welcomed in the Mexican-American community and felt that it is his family. The work of justice, he said, is not just to do, but to see yourself as part of one family. He spoke of the need to get people involved to be that force that fights against injustice.

SIREN was initiated in 1987 and is the leading immigrant rights organization in the South Bay. Its mission is to empower low-income immigrants and refugees in Santa Clara County through direct services, community organizing, leadership development, and policy advocacy. SIREN has received grant funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) through the Diocese of San Jose.


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