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Fr. Fred Kammer, S.J. Vince & Robyn Caponi Honored at the 2024 Ignite: A Celebration of Justice

Vince and Robyn Caponi, Fr. Fred Kammer receive the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Awards

BY ISN STAFF | May 9, 2024

On May 1, 2024 at Ignite: A Celebration of Justice in New York City, the Ignatian Solidarity Network honored Fr. Fred Kammer, S.J., and Vince & Robyn Caponi for their commitment to faith and justice. 

Vince Caponi & Robyn Ruede Caponi first connected with ISN when their daughter, Cara, was a student at Brebeuf Jesuit High School in Indianapolis, IN. Robyn, and later Vince, attended the Ignatian Familiy Teach-In for Justice, then held in Georgia, with the school, and both later served terms on the ISN boad of directors. In addition to Robyn’s work as an educator and Vince’s many years of work in Catholic healthcare, the Caponis have committed their time and resources to countless justice and service causes.  

Fr. Fred Kammer, S.J., celebrated 60 years in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 2023. He is known for his work in social ministries and publications on Catholic social teaching. He formerly served as provincial of the Jesuits’ former New Orleans Province, as CEO of Catholic Charities USA, and as director of Catholic Community Services of Baton Rouge, Inc., amongst other roles. He is currently the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province’s delegate for reconciliation with Descendants of people enslaved by Jesuits.

Each was presented with the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award, which annually recognizes 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).

Vince and Robyn Caponi, Fr. Fred Kammer receive the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Awards

The award’s namesake, the late Robert (Bob) M. Holstein, was a former California Province Jesuit, labor lawyer, fierce advocate for social justice, and one of the founders of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice—the precursor to the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Previous Holstein award honorees include Ellie Hidalgo, Jack Raslowsky, Fr. Bryan Massingale, Marie Dennis, Sr. Simone Campbell, Fr. John Baumann, S.J., Fr. James Martin, S.J., Sr. Norma Pimentel, Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., Patricia McGuire, Fr. Michael Garanzini, S.J., Sr. Carol Keehan, D.C., Rev. James L. Connor, S.J., and Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J.

The Ignatian Schola

The Ignatian Schola, a New York-based vocal ensemble composed of Jesuits and lay colleagues, provided music at this year’s Ignite event. Rooted in Ignatian spirituality, the Schola is dedicated to the exploration of musical prayer in the service of faith and the promotion of justice. Cara Caponi (fourth from left) is a member of the Schola. She first introduced her parents, two of the 2024 Ignite honorees, to the work of the Ignatian Solidarity Network when she was a student at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis

Legacy of the Martyrs Award

Francisco Mena, executive director for CRISPAZ – Christians for Peace in El Salvador, receives the Legacy of the Martyrs Award.

ISN also presented the Legacy of the Martyrs Award to CRISPAZ – Christians for Peace in El Salvador, for their work building bridges of solidarity between the Church of the poor and marginalized communities in El Salvador and communities in the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries. The award honors individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to sustaining the witness and legacy of the Salvadoran martyrs—the six Jesuits and two laywomen who were killed for their commitment to upholding the dignity of those who were oppressed.

Two young alumni of Jesuit universities, Miriam Uribe (Univesity of San Francisco ’13) and Jordan Denari Duffner (Georgetown University ‘13), were also recognized at the event, presented with the Moira Erin O’Donnell Emerging Leaders for Justice Award. Uribe works to champion the cause of immigrant workers’ rights while diving headfirst into the fascinating world where workers’ rights advocacy meets technology. Denari Duffner is an author, educator, and public theologian whose scholarship and activism focus on Muslim-Christian relations, interreligious dialogue, and Islamophobia. rights while diving headfirst into the fascinating world where workers’ rights advocacy meets technology. Denari Duffner is an author, educator, and public theologian whose scholarship and activism focus on Muslim-Christian relations, interreligious dialogue, and Islamophobia.

Moira O'Donnell Emerging Leaders for Justice Award

Jordan Denari Duffner (left) and Miriam Uribe (right) receive the Moira O’Donnell Emerging Leader for Justice Awards from ISN’s executive director, Christopher Kerr, and board chair, Dave Johnson.

Generous sponsors of the event include Ascension Health, Peter Albert and Charlotte Mahoney, Vince and Robyn Caponi, Loretta Holstein, The Loyola Foundation, the Ignatian Solidarity Network Board of Directors, Regis High School (NY), Xavier High School (NY), Ann Magovern and Kate Carter, Jamie and Bruce McCaw, Robert and Jacqueline O’Donnell, St. Ignatius Loyola Community, Cara Caponi, Krissy Caponi Darmody and Ryan Darmody, Ken and Cindy Stella, Peter and Laura Klekamp, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory (IN), Jesuits USA East, the Office of Ignatian Spirituality, and Xavier University. 

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