News Detail
Fr. Thomas Smolich, SJ, Receives CRISPAZ Peace Award

December 9, 2016 — Father Thomas H. Smolich, SJ, International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), was honored with the CRISPAZ Peace Award on Nov. 30. Inspired by the testimony of the martyrs of El Salvador, the award was established in 2009 to honor individuals or organizations embodying the preferential option for the poor in their work for the promotion of peace and social justice.

Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ) gave the award to Fr. Smolich at a reception at Santa Clara University in California. For more than three decades, the organization has enabled thousands of individuals, mainly from North America, to accompany the Salvadoran people in their ongoing struggle for peace rooted in justice and compassion.

“Peace cannot happen without walking with one another,” said Fr. Smolich, upon receiving the award and reflecting upon CRISPAZ’s work building bridges of solidarity between the people of El Salvador and other countries.


Fr. Smolich (right) receives the peace award from Fr. Peter Hinde O.Carm., one of the co-founders of CRISPAZ.

Since October 2015, Fr. Smolich has served as the International Director of JRS, which accompanies, serves and advocates on behalf of refugees and forced migrants. He believes education is a precious tool for refugees, as well as a basic human right, and helps refugees rise up to the challenge of making a new life for themselves.

“As human beings, we are often at the mercy of war, of nature, of governments — of forces beyond our control. For this reason, nearly 60 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes, constantly moving. But for people living in motion, those who cannot take possessions can bring knowledge and change their world,” he said. “We are convinced that education helps build peace and stability and gives hope to many young refugees and displaced in the 46 countries where JRS works.”  


As International Director of JRS, Fr. Smolich visited with Burmese refugee students in the Ban Mai Nai Soi camp on the Thailand-Myanmar border.

Fr. Smolich entered the Jesuits in 1974 and was ordained a priest in 1986. After ordination, he was assigned to Dolores Mission Parish in East Los Angeles, where he served for seven years as an associate pastor and was the Executive Director of Proyecto Pastoral, a community development organization.

He also served as a project manager for the Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition, developing affordable housing for families in the San Francisco Bay area and later held leadership positions with the Society of Jesus. [Sources: CRISPAZ, ISN]





Recent News

December 10, 2018 — Former Johnson & Johnson executive David Smith returns to his hometown to lead school. He will succeed Fr. Mark Luedtke, SJ, on July 1, 2019.

November 30, 2018 — This Advent season, we ask Jesus to light the dark. We pray for that light to inflame us with brighter faith, hope and love.

November 27, 2018 — This year, U.S. and Canadian Jesuits were ordained to the diaconate at several different Masses in the United States, Canada, Rome, Paris and Cairo.

November 26, 2018 — Better known as Padre Melo, Ismael Moreno, SJ, is the director of the Honduran Jesuit radio station, Radio Progreso.

November 22, 2018 — On this Thanksgiving Day, we share with you an Examen prayer of gratitude, adapted by Marquette University Campus Ministry.

November 19, 2018 — With the launch of the sainthood cause for Fr. Arrupe, a reflection on his legacy.

November 15, 2018 — Kenyan Jesuit Father Victor-Luke Odhiambo, 62, was murdered on Nov. 15 when unknown assailants attacked the Daniel Comboni Jesuit Residence in Cueibet, South Sudan, where he resided.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 12/10/18

America 11/26/18

America 11/12/18



Jesuit Retreat House of Cleveland
Nestled in the urban landscape of Parma, Ohio, the Jesuit Retreat House of Cleveland is “a place of peace in the forest.”