November 20, 2013 — Jesuit Father Fred Green, who has devoted over 50 years to improving education in Peru, was awarded the 2013 Peruvian Ministry for Women and Vulnerable Populations Peace Prize in September.
Born in Hawaii, Fr. Green, 91, was an American aviation pilot during WWII. After speaking with his chaplain in the Marines, Fr. Green realized that he wanted to do something more with his life. He left the Marines and studied at the University of San Francisco before entering the Society of Jesus in 1946.
Fr. Green moved to Peru in 1959 and founded two schools in the city of Tacna: Colegio Cristo Rey in 1962 and Colegio Miguel Pro in 1991. Fr. Green gradually earned the respect of the local population, developing a program of summer camps aimed at supporting financially-disadvantaged groups, as well as establishing various aid programs for students with limited means.
In an interview with the Jesuits of Peru, Fr. Green shared his vision for the future of education in Tacna, calling for more teachers and schools and better training for teachers in Peru. He stressed the significance of family involvement in students’ lives and the importance of service to others in the education of youth.
“Fr. Green is considered by many generations of students not only as a teacher and a friend, but also as a true guide who has accompanied them along the way to adulthood,” noted the Jesuit Curia in an announcement of Fr. Green’s Peace Prize award. Even today, as spiritual director at Colegio Miguel Pro, he remains committed to his spiritual and ecumenical duties.
“After so many years, meeting so many people and making so many friends, I truly feel at home and am very happy,” said Fr. Green in an interview with the Peruvian Jesuits. [Sources: California Province Jesuits, Jesuit Curia, ACI Prensa, Jesuitas del Perú]