News Detail
Jesuit Father Peter McVerry, left, with Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn
“A place to call home is a fundamental human right.” — Jesuit Father Peter McVerry
Irish Jesuit Honored with Freedom of Dublin Award for Combating Homelessness

April 16, 2014 — The city council of Dublin, Ireland, honored Irish Jesuit Father Peter McVerry with its Freedom of Dublin award for his work with the homeless over the past 40 years. Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn, nominated Fr. McVerry for the honor, whose previous recipients include Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, John F. Kennedy and U2.

“I am delighted they have agreed to accept this great honor. They set a remarkable example to us all by the way they apply themselves to their challenges,” Mayor Quinn said of the award recipients, Fr. McVerry and rugby star Brian O’Driscoll. “They are people who lead by the example they set. In their own way and in their own fields, they are both individuals who walk the walk.”

Fr. McVerry set up the Peter McVerry Trust in Dublin to reduce homelessness and combat social disadvantage and drug abuse. The Trust provides an informal drop-in center, often the first point of contact for many young homeless people, as well as temporary accommodation and drug treatment facilities. Other services offer resources and housing for homeless children aged 12-18 and individuals battling mental health issues. The McVerry Trust provides housing and drug treatment for about 175 homeless people on any given night.

According to Fr. McVerry, there are a lot of “newly homeless” seeking help due to struggles resulting from the current state of the Irish economy, in addition to the many homeless the McVerry Trust helps on account of addiction problems and dysfunctional family life.

“The majority of people now who are becoming homeless are ordinary working class, even middle class, people who can no longer afford to pay the rents,” he said. “Most of them can only secure emergency accommodation, which means that they don’t know from one day to the next where they could be staying when night falls. Some of them come down here just to eat; others come just for the company — the warmth.”

Having “a place to call home is a fundamental human right,” Fr. McVerry added. [Sources: Catholic Ireland, Vatican Radio]


Recent News

August 23, 2016 — Fr. Roy Joseph, SJ, is the first American Jesuit to be ordained a bi-ritual priest in both the Syro-Malabar and Latin rites.

August 22, 2016 — "Ignacio de Loyola," a film produced by the Jesuit Communications Foundation in the Philippines, will be released in North American theatres on Friday, Aug. 26.

August 18, 2016 — Today is the feast day of Saint Alberto Hurtado, a Chilean Jesuit priest known for his engagement with Chilean culture and his work with young adults and the poor.

August 17, 2016 — Scorsese is the director of the upcoming film "Silence," about Jesuits in Japan during the 17th century.

August 15, 2016 — The concert tour's performances will benefit Jesuit Refugee Service's Global Education Initiative.

August 12, 2016 — As the Jesuit Volunteer Corps celebrates its 60th anniversary, its overriding goal has remained consistent: to “ruin you for life.” JVC’s motto, “Dare to change,” encourages volunteers to step outside of their comfort zones and live and serve in solidarity with those in the margins of society.

August 11, 2016 — The Jesuit Conference's advocacy staff is dedicated to championing issues central to the Jesuits’ social justice mandate.

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 8/29/16

America 8/15/16

America 8/1/16



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.”