Catholic Charities awarded for refugee resettlement work

May 5th, 2022

Pictured is Jessi Riesenberg and Patrick Raglow of Catholic Charities, Charles E. Geister III and Cindy Sparling, members of the Oklahoma County Bar Association

OKLAHOMA CITY – Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City was presented the Howard K. Berry, Sr. award on Monday, May 2, by the Oklahoma County Bar Association. This award is given to an individual or charitable organization located in Oklahoma County to honor the outstanding achievement or contribution to justice or the justice system. The acknowledgement was based on the refugee resettlement work by Catholic Charities.

Cyndi Sparling, attorney and member of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, nominated Catholic Charities based on humanitarian aid provided for refugees arriving in Oklahoma. Sited in her nomination was the profound impact and achievements in resettling 1,800 Afghan refugees since last September.

“As a member of a church committee sponsoring the resettlement of an Afghan family of 10, I truly appreciate their contribution,” said Sparling. “Surely if we can manage outreach at this scale, we can do so much more across the aisle.”

Accepting the award on behalf of the organization was Patrick Raglow, executive director of Catholic Charities, and Jessi Riesenberg, senior director of outreach and development at Catholic Charities. Along with a commemorative plaque, a $25,000 donation will be made to the refugee department on behalf of the OCBA.

“Truly this is a remarkable effort,” said Charles E. Geister III, member of the Oklahoma County Bar Association. “Oklahoma should be proud for taking its part in this aid, and kudos to those in the community that have taken them in and helped them.”


About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

Guided by Catholic teaching, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City serves those in need, regardless of their faith, through transformative, empowering and dignity-affirming social service programs that seek to eliminate material, emotional and spiritual poverty across Central and Western Oklahoma. To learn more, call 405-523-3000, visit, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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