On Friday, April 28th, 2017, JPIC-OMI Lacombe was very pleased to participate on the Eugène de Mazenod Medal award at the Saint Paul University, as their nominee Mr. John Joe Gunnwas the honoree of the day.

As Br. Leonardo REGO, director of JPIC OMI Lacombe, mentioned in his speech: “When the opportunity to nominate someone for the Eugene de Mazenod Medal award reached me, I was very inspired by the Oblates’ two hundredth anniversary, which brings innovative changes and movements towards a new future and a new mission that are very much in sync not only with this award, but Joe’s work and Saint Paul University’s vision and mission. The Oblate’s new heart in connection with the conversion, the new spirit in connection with the prophetic voices and the new mission relating it to our future can be easily related to Joe’s work, his commitment to social justice within and outside the Catholic institution, always with great faith and firm conviction that a better world is possible.”

The medal bears the name of the founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and recognizes the spirit of St. Eugene de

Mazenod in addressing the social issues of his time. The Eugene de Mazenod Medal honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of their community, in their environment, in the church and in society as a whole.

The event and the speeches brought about friendly discussions on engagement, the next steps towards change, as well as a reflection on our own role in the fight for justice. It brought us to re-think our engagement with progress and our commitment to change and development, postulates for the mission carried by JPIC and its areas of work.

Joe’s work is extraordinary, yet his humility makes him human and drives us all to achieve greatness through his example on fighting for justice, peace, integrity of creation and development. In his acceptance speech, Joe presented us with an inspiring call to justice in difficult times, giving examples and calling us all to join a coalition for the greater good, seizing the opportunity to build a future towards change and fighting poverty: “None of us is anyone without everyone else, so let’s take this opportunity to form a coalition for the greater good in the collaboration and union of all here present today, expressing a preferential option for the poor.” Fernanda de Castro – JPIC Assistant