Marie Dennis, a Secular Franciscan who is director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, received the National Peace Award from the U.S. Secular Franciscan Order during its annual chapter held Oct. 14-19 in Nashville, TN.
Dennis is the first lay co-president of Pax Christi International, a founding member of the Assisi Community in Washington, D.C., mother of six children, grandmother of seven children, and author of seven books. She resides in the Washington, D.C., area.
"Marie Dennis has immersed herself in missioners' work among the poor and suffering around the world, and in advocating on behalf of people marginalized by society, by poverty, by abuse, by war, by violence, by human trafficking," noted Peace Award Chair Deacon Tom Bello, SFO (of McLean, VA). "As Franciscans we are called to be instruments of peace, so likewise we want to recognize and support individuals whose work has impact on peace and justice in their communities or their nation or around the world."
The award comes with a St. Francis trophy and a $2,000 prize. Dennis said she was "really touched to be honored by an Order so intimately associated with peacemaking."
The annual award was revived in 2007 after a lapse of several years. The 2007 award recognized the work of Dr. Tony Lazzara, an American physician and Secular Franciscan who operates a clinic and shelter for ailing children in Peru. Other previous recipients included, among others, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Media Contact: Robert Stronach, SFO
Marie Dennis, SFO