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

January 22 will mark 45 years since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision made abortion legal in the United States, and today the Society of Jesus in the U.S. is asking Jesuits and their collaborators to continue to stand in solidarity with the unborn and with mothers in difficult situations.

Seattle University President Father Stephen Sundborg, SJ, has been known throughout the Puget Sound region and beyond as a leader dedicated to academic rigor, service, and the promotion of justice.

The uniquely historical stained glass windows in LMU’s Sacred Heart Chapel can now be viewed without entering the building by visiting a new website.

Sean Reilly, a 2016 Santa Clara University environmental science and biology major, has been named one of 32 American Rhodes Scholars for 2018.

LMU has kicked off a program that helps community college transfer students earn performance-based scholarships to the university.

January 1, 2018 — As the new year begins, Jesuits.org invites you to reflect on 2017 with this Ignatian Annual Examen courtesy of Xavier University’s Jesuitresource.org.

December 17, 2017 — In honor of Pope Francis' 81st birthday today, here are 81 things the Jesuits love about Pope Francis.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016


Companions
Fall, 2017

Update
Summer, 2017

Update
Spring, 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.