BY ISN STAFF | January 21, 2016
On Monday, January 25, Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) board chair Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ will be honored with the Harry A. Fagan Roundtable Award in a ceremony at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Since 1987, the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors has annually given the award to a person or persons whose work, in the tradition of Catholic social teaching, has led to significant progress towards greater social justice and dignity for all members of society at the national or international level. Past recipients have included John Carr, Director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University; Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ, Executive Director of Homeboy Ministries; and death penalty abolitionist Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ.
An ISN board member since 2013, Fred Kammer, SJ, J.D., is a priest, an attorney, and a member of the Central and Southern Province of the Jesuits. He has been director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute (JSRI) since March 2009. JSRI works to transform the Gulf South through action research, analysis, education, and advocacy on the core issues of poverty, race, and migration. The Institute is a collaboration of Loyola University New Orleans and the Society of Jesus rooted in the faith that does justice. Kammer is the editor and regular contributor to JSRI’s publication “Just South” and writes regular columns on Catholic Social Teaching and current issues.
From 2002 to 2008, Kammer was the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits of the New Orleans Province, guiding their post-Katrina recovery and service to the devastated region’s poor and needy. From 1992 to 2001, he was the President/CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the nation’s largest voluntary human service network. Kammer has worked in a number of programs for the underprivileged, both as a lay volunteer, an attorney, an advocate, and an administrator. From 1990 to 1992, he was the Policy Advisor for Health and Welfare Issues, Department of Social Development and World Peace, U.S. Catholic Conference. Prior to that, from 1984 to 1989, he was Executive Director of Catholic Community Services of Baton Rouge, Inc. Earlier, from 1977 to 1983, he was Director of the Senior Citizens Law Project of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.
Kammer’s first book, “Doing Faithjustice: An Introduction to Catholic Social Thought,” was published by Paulist Press in 1991. The book is considered by many to be essential reading for those committed to the “faith that does justice” and is used as a textbook for social justice and morality classes in high schools and colleges. He is also the author of “Salted with Fire: Spirituality for the Faithjustice Journey” and most recently, “Faith. Works. Wonders.: An Insider’s Guide to Catholic Charities.”
The Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors is the national professional association for those who staff Catholic bishops on matters of justice and peace. The Roundtable provides professional support to members through education, formation, professional relationships, and management development.