JRS/USA Celebrates Fr. Ken Gavin, SJ, at Walking with Refugees Event

Dec. 8, 2016 - It was a joyful evening complete with Irish music that marked the 36th year of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and celebrated Fr. Ken Gavin, SJ for his extraordinary service to refugees and displaced people worldwide

The Walking with Refugees Award Reception took place on the 1st of December at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan, raising more than $100,000 for JRS refugee programs and services.  David McNulty, Chair of the JRS/USA Board, welcomed over 100 guests, including many Gavin family members, friends, volunteers, and benefactors from across the country.

Fr. Leo J. O’Donovan, SJ, Interim Executive Director JRS/USA opened the program with a blessing and Fr. Tom Smolich, SJ, International Director of  JRS shared his reflections, which included an overview of JRS’ impact around the world.  Fr. Smolich commented, “I am keenly aware that we Jesuits work in partnership with others…people like you, who make our work and what we do possible.”

The highlight of the evening came when  Fr. Kenneth Gavin, SJ was recognized for his extraordinary career and dedication to others. His distinguished service, which included accompaniment, reconciliation, and staff care strengthened Jesuit Refugee Service programs globally for decades. 

Fr. Gavin was introduced by Margaret Green-Rauenhorst, Vice Chair of the JRS/USA Board, who presented him with the Grace Kobbe Tevis Award for Extraordinary Service.  She spoke about his inspiring leadership, traveling widely to accompany refugees and bearing witness to their struggles and needs.  Margaret Green-Rauenhorst described Fr. Gavin’s advocacy on international issues including increasing assistance to Colombian refugees, the resettlement of Bhutanese refugees, and flagging protection concerns of the Tamil people throughout Sri Lanka.

JRS supporters Molly Cashin and Madeline Lacovara, on behalf of the International Development Group(IDG), presented Fr. Gavin with a gift, expressing their deep appreciation for his work.

In his acceptance remarks, Fr. Gavin reflected on JRS’s mission: “When we talk about our work with Jesuit Refugee Service, we say that what we do is accompany, serve and advocate or defend the rights of refugees or forcibly displaced people. And that term, accompaniment, is incredibly important, because I see it as the envelope out of which all our service and all our advocacy flow -- from that sense of accompaniment.

And what we mean by that (accompaniment), I think simply, is to be close to the people, to be in solidarity with them, to step into their shoes, to experience their hopes and losses. Our sense of accompaniment comes from that spark of the divine that we recognize in every human person. It comes from our believing that even in the greatest tragedies, our God stands present with people in their suffering.”

Recent News

March 13, 2018 — Fr. Michael Boughton, SJ, will serve at the BCSTM; Fr. Martin Connell, SJ, will serve at JST.

March 10, 2018 — Today the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast day of Saint John Ogilvie, SJ, a Jesuit martyr.

March 8, 2018 — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA has appointed Joan Rosenhauer to serve as the first woman in the role.

March 7, 2018 — March 9 marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, SJ.

March 6, 2018 - Fr. James W. O’Neil, SJ, was called to eternal life at the age of 96 on March, 3 2018. Fr. O’Neil was born on April 12, 1921, and entered the Society of Jesus on Dec. 2, 1947. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 15, 1957, and pronounced his Final Vows on June 2, 1989. He was the oldest member of the province.

March 5, 2018 - In his March prayer video, Pope Francis spoke on his intention of spiritual discernment. “Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to ‘read within’ his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission,” said Pope Francis.

Feb. 28, 2018 - Fr. Donald J. Keefe, SJ, was called to eternal life on Feb. 27, 2018, at Murray-Weigel Hall, Bronx, N.Y. He was born on July 14, 1924, entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Sept. 7, 1953, and was ordained on June 20, 1962, at Canisius College, Buffalo, N.Y. He pronounced his final vows on Feb. 2, 1971.

view all news

Search news

Eastern Point Retreat House
Eastern Point Retreat House, a grand house located on the Atlantic shore in Gloucester, Mass., has been welcoming retreatants since 1958.