News
Fr. Thomas Smolich, SJ, Receives CRISPAZ Peace Award

December 9, 2016 — Father Thomas H. Smolich, SJ, International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), was honored with the CRISPAZ Peace Award on Nov. 30. Inspired by the testimony of the martyrs of El Salvador, the award was established in 2009 to honor individuals or organizations embodying the preferential option for the poor in their work for the promotion of peace and social justice.

Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ) gave the award to Fr. Smolich at a reception at Santa Clara University in California. For more than three decades, the organization has enabled thousands of individuals, mainly from North America, to accompany the Salvadoran people in their ongoing struggle for peace rooted in justice and compassion.

“Peace cannot happen without walking with one another,” said Fr. Smolich, upon receiving the award and reflecting upon CRISPAZ’s work building bridges of solidarity between the people of El Salvador and other countries.


Fr. Smolich (right) receives the peace award from Fr. Peter Hinde O.Carm., one of the co-founders of CRISPAZ.

Since October 2015, Fr. Smolich has served as the International Director of JRS, which accompanies, serves and advocates on behalf of refugees and forced migrants. He believes education is a precious tool for refugees, as well as a basic human right, and helps refugees rise up to the challenge of making a new life for themselves.

“As human beings, we are often at the mercy of war, of nature, of governments — of forces beyond our control. For this reason, nearly 60 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes, constantly moving. But for people living in motion, those who cannot take possessions can bring knowledge and change their world,” he said. “We are convinced that education helps build peace and stability and gives hope to many young refugees and displaced in the 46 countries where JRS works.”  


As International Director of JRS, Fr. Smolich visited with Burmese refugee students in the Ban Mai Nai Soi camp on the Thailand-Myanmar border.

Fr. Smolich entered the Jesuits in 1974 and was ordained a priest in 1986. After ordination, he was assigned to Dolores Mission Parish in East Los Angeles, where he served for seven years as an associate pastor and was the Executive Director of Proyecto Pastoral, a community development organization.

He also served as a project manager for the Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition, developing affordable housing for families in the San Francisco Bay area and later held leadership positions with the Society of Jesus. [Sources: CRISPAZ, ISN]





Recent News

Ms. Kim Cavnar, Principal of St. Francis Xavier School, received Loyola University of Chicago’s 2018 Damen Award from the Institute of Pastoral Studies on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

Father Michael J. Mandala, SJ, emeritus president of Verbum Dei High School, Los Angeles, died September 9, 2018 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California. He suffered from pancreatic cancer. He was 71 years of age and had been a member of the Jesuit Order for 54 years, 41 years a priest.

Father John J. (“Hex”) Kindall, SJ, longtime high school teacher/principal and pastor in schools and parishes throughout the Pacific Northwest, died August 25, 2018 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California. He was 91 years of age, a Jesuit for 74 years, and 61 years a priest.

The Jesuits West Prayer for September centers on St. Peter Claver, SJ, whose feast day is September 9. From 1610 until his death in 1654, Peter Claver, ministered to the slaves brought from Africa to Cartagena, Colombia. Peter signed his name, “slave of the slaves forever.”

August 26, 2018 – Bishop Thomas Daley of Spokane celebrated the 8:30 am Mass at St. Aloysius Church and officially announced Fr. Tom Lamanna, SJ, as the new Pastor. Fr. Jerry Graham, SJ, joins the parish team as Associate Pastor.

August 24, 2018 - In a letter released today, Jesuit Superior General Father Arturo Sosa addressed the Society of Jesus and its lay collaborators regarding the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court grand jury report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Father Walter Gregory Brennan, SJ, entered into God’s peace on June 11 in Tokyo. He was 90 years old and had been a Jesuit for 72 years.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Spring 2018

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016


Companions
Summer, 2018

Companions
Fall, 2017

Update
Summer, 2017


Loyola Institute for Spirituality
Loyola Institute for Spirituality (LIS), founded in 1997, is located in Orange, CA. LIS provides many programs and services for individuals, parishes, and dioceses throughout Southern California and beyond.