BY ISN STAFF | March 15, 2022
Commemorating eighteen years as an organization promoting a faith that does justice, the Ignatian Solidarity Network announces the 2022 Ignite: A Celebration of Justice to be held on April 27, 2022, in New York City.
Highlighted at the event will be honorees receiving three awards: the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award, the Legacy of the Martyrs Award, and the Moira Erin O’Donnell Emerging Leaders for Justice Award.
The Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award will be given this year to Rev. Bryan Massingale and Marie Dennis. The Holstein Award honors individuals who have demonstrated a significant commitment to leadership for social justice grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The award’s namesake, the late Robert Holstein, was a former California Province Jesuit, labor lawyer, a fierce advocate for social justice, and one of the founders of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ)—the precursor to the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
Fr. Massingale is the James and Nancy Buckman Professor of Theological and Social Ethics, as well as the Senior Ethics Fellow in Fordham’s Center for Ethics Education.
Prior to his appointment at Fordham, he was professor of theology at Marquette University. Fr. Massingale is the author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church.
Fr. Massingale strives to be a scholar-activist through serving faith-based groups advancing justice in society. He is a noted authority on issues of social and racial justice, having addressed numerous national Catholic conferences and lectured at colleges and universities across the nation. He has served as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, providing theological assistance on issues such as criminal justice, capital punishment, environmental justice, and affirmative action. He has also been a consultant to the National Black Catholic Congress, Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Health Association, Catholic Relief Services, the Leadership Conference of Religious Women, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the National Catholic AIDS Network, and the antiracism teams of Call to Action and Pax Christi USA. He is an active participant in a network of Catholic thought leaders striving for fuller inclusion of LGBT persons in society and the faith community. He was a keynote speaker at the 2017 and 2021 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.
Marie Dennis is senior advisor to the secretary general of Pax Christi International, the global Catholic peace movement. She was co-president of Pax Christi International from 2007 to 2019 and serves on the executive committee of Pax Christi’s Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. Dennis previously worked for the Maryknoll Missioners from 1989 to 2012. Marie is author or co-author of seven books and editor of Choosing Peace: The Catholic Church Returns to Gospel Nonviolence.
Dennis was one of the primary organizers of April 2016 and April 2019 conferences in Rome on Nonviolence and Just Peace that were cosponsored by the Vatican and Pax Christi International. She has lectured at many universities and conferences over the past 40 years on topics ranging from Catholic social teaching to U.S. foreign policy, peace, nonviolence and reconciliation, the global economy, climate change, migration and the nuclear arms race. She has prepared and participated in panels and workshops at the United Nations and the U.S. Congress. She was a keynote speaker at the 2014 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.
ISN will present the Legacy of the Martyrs Award at the event to Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for the Working Poor. The award honors individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to sustaining the witness and legacy of the Jesuit martyrs and their companions.
The Kalmanovitz Initiative develops creative strategies and innovative public policy to improve workers’ lives in a changing economy. The Initiative draws on Georgetown’s distinctive identity—its commitment to intellectual excellence, grounding in the Catholic and Jesuit traditions, history of inter-religious cooperation, global reach, and prominence as an arena of policy debate in the nation’s capital—to advance prosperity, broadly-shared economic justice, and respect for the dignity of labor.
Founded in 2009, the Kalmanovitz Initiative was created as a space to engage questions of workers’ rights and the future of the labor movement. Since then, the KI has taken on special projects that explore policies supporting workers’ rights, coalition building between labor and community groups, and connecting students to local advocacy and organizing opportunities.
Two young alumni of Jesuit universities, James Havey (Marquette University ‘11) and Amanda Montez (Loyola Marymount University ‘15), will also be recognized at the event with the Moira Erin O’Donnell Emerging Leaders for Justice Award. Havey is a Sustainability Scholar at the University of Kent pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration and has worked with anti-human trafficking and ethical procurement organizations. Montez is the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Jesuit High School in Portland, OR. As a bi-racial educator, she aims to create the classroom environment she wished she could have had as a student and works to create systems of racial equity. The award is given in memory of Moira Erin O’Donnell who had served as ISN’s executive director for less than a year when she passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 33. The annual award honors individuals ages 23-33 who have received an undergraduate degree from a U.S. Jesuit university and have demonstrated significant social justice leadership in their communities.
Honorary committee members for this year’s event include Very Rev. Kevin P. Dowling, C.SS.R., John J. DeGioia, Loretta Holstein, Rev. James Martin, S.J., Patricia McGuire, Bob and Jackie O’Donnell, and Rev. Joseph McShane, S.J.
Prior recipients of the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award include Sr. Simone Campbell, S.S.S., Rev. John Baumann, S.J., Fr. James Martin, S.J., Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J., Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J.; Patricia McGuire, Fr. Michael Garanzini, S.J.; Sr. Carol Keehan, D.C.; Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J.; and Fr. Charlie Currie, S.J. Please visit the Ignite: A Celebration of Justice website to learn more about the awards and event, explore sponsorship opportunities, and purchase event tickets.
Funds raised at Ignite: A Celebration of Justice will be used to support the continued work of ISN to form youth and young adults as advocates for justice. ISN’s youth and young adult formation programs, including the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice and leadership summits for high school and college students, empower participants to put their faith into action—setting the world on fire for justice and making real change in their communities. Please give generously at the event or at igsol.net/ignitegive.