Father Sean McDonagh Receives Annual Justice Award

Amy Echeverria, CCAO Director | April 29, 2011 Print

Father Sean McDonagh received
the Annual Justice Award

You are invited to attend “Obstacles to Sustainable Development,” an evening with Columban Father Sean McDonagh.  Tuesday May 17, 2011 Presentation 3:30p.m. – 5:30 p.m. with a reception following until 7:30 p.m.

Columban missionary Fr. Sean McDonagh, an internationally recognized eco-theologian, author, lecturer, and consultant to Catholic Church leadership, the World Council of Churches, governments and civil society organizations, was recently awarded the Partnership for Global Justice’s annual Justice Award in honor of his life’s work spanning over forty years dedicated to a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.    The Partnership for Global Justice is a network of women and men religious organizations and brings the religious and missionary voice to the United Nations though advocacy and participation.

On May 1, 2011, at the St. Paul the Apostle church in New York City, Fr. Sean received the award and was accompanied by Fr. John Burger, a current member of the Columban General Council in Hong Kong and the former director of the U.S. Region, and by Amy Woolam Echeverria, director of the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach in Washington, D.C.  The citation of the award says:

Father Sean McDonagh posing with Amy Echeverria

We are pleased to give the Eighth Annual Award for Justice to Rev. Sean McDonagh on behalf of the Partnership for Global Justice:

  • For his leadership in writing and lecturing on the relationship between faith/justice and ecology,
  • For raising our awareness that there is a strong connection between global poverty and environmental degradation,
  • For calling on Church leaders and politicians to engage in the issues of the environment particularly on global warming,
  • For advocating that environmental justice be a core of Catholic activity,
  • For challenging church people to play a central role in raising our awareness  that the issue of global warming is  a moral imperative,
  • For engaging in the environmental issues during his missionary years with the people of the Philippines,
  • For tracing the cosmology and theology that underlie our relationship with Earth and appealing for a new theological framework that embraces the Earth Community including sacramental practice, contemplative prayer and missionary responses.

Because Sean has focused on living life so dedicated to the deepest understandings of Sustainable Living in our midst, his life has become a beacon of hope for us.  His energy, beliefs, enthusiasm and actions not only speak of his convictions, but also his life is a deep message to the entire world that living sustainably is the only option.  We thank his family, friends and the Missionary Society of St. Columban as they continue to support Sean in preaching, teaching, writing and living the message of deep reverence for Earth.

The event not only honored Fr. Sean but served as the Partnership’s opening event for the United Nation’s Commission on Sustainable Development, May 2-13, 2011. Fr. Sean will participate in the Commission not only with NGO status but also as the Irish government’s representative.

Following the U.N. Commission, Fr. Sean will be in Washington, D.C., where he will also be recognized for his life commitment to JPIC.  The event will be co-hosted by Columban Missionaries, the Center of Concern, and Pax Christi USA on May 17, 2011, 3:30-7:30 (presentation by Fr. Sean followed by a reception).   For those in the Washington, D.C., area who would like to attend the event, please contact Amy Echeverria at amywe@columban.org / 301-565-45437 for details.

A prolific and prophetic writer, Fr. Sean’s most recent book is, Climate Change: A Challenge to Us All.  Other works include: The Death of Life: The Horror of Extinction; Dying for Water; and his groundbreaking work, To Care for the Earth.