Published: April 7, 2016
The University presented the Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award to Friends of the Poor in Brennan Hall on Tuesday.
The award is given to an organization or person that shows contributions to the Ignation mission, the Rev. Dr. Kevin Quinn, S.J., president of The University, said. Saint Ignatius challenges people to love and serve in all things, Quinn said, which is an aspect Friends of the Poor demonstrates.
“It is the key to Jesuit higher education in the 21st century,” Quinn said.
The challenge of The University is to carry on late Pedro Arrupe’s legacy, Quinn said, and to be present for those who are needy. Friends of the Poor helps The University by influencing these values, he said.
“Father Arrupe’s legacy will be our solidarity with the poor,” Quinn said.
Arrupe was the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, according to the program for the event.
“Pedro Arrupe called us to live a life of faith in service of justice and to see the world through the lens of love for the poor,” the program reads.
Sister Ann Walsh, director of Friends of the Poor, spoke on behalf of the organization. She said Friends of the Poor was founded by Sister Adrian Barrett 30 years ago. Barrett started Friends of the Poor when she saw a need for helping the unprivileged in the community of Scranton, Walsh said.
“Thirty years ago, Sister embraced herself in moving the social agenda in her own community,” she said.
Friends of the Poor hopes to continue Barrett’s legacy in their future work, Walsh said. The organization has two full-time pantries that are open Monday through Friday and five other part-time pantries that give out clothes, household items, food, emergency assistance and furniture, Walsh said.
“If anyone assumes there is no real hunger in our area, I invite them to come to one of our pantries,” she said.
The University supplies many volunteers for Friends of the Poor, specifically through the after-school program Big Friends Little Friends, Walsh said. Students from The University, as well as Marywood University, assist underprivileged elementary-school students with their homework and supervise activities.
“We couldn’t run the after-school program without the help form university students,” she said.
The Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award was created in 1995 by The University. The recipients are chosen by a committee that debates the contributions of the Ignatian mission to their work, Quinn said.
“It is such a great honor to be counted among all the past recipients of this award,” Walsh said.
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