Opus Prize to Be Awarded Nov. 8 at Pryzbyla Center
By Catherine Lee
In just a week, on Thursday, Nov. 8, The Opus Prize Foundation, in partnership with Catholic University, will honor an unsung humanitarian by presenting him the $1 million Opus Prize at a dinner in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.
Prior to the dinner, several university-sponsored events will enable CUA students, faculty and staff to meet the three prize finalists, who will visit CUA’s campus Nov. 6 to 8.
The finalists include Rev. John Adams, president of SOME (So Others Might Eat) in Washington, D.C.; Brother Constant Goetschalckx, F.C. (known as Brother Stan), founder and director of the AHADI Institute in Tanzania; and the Homeless People’s Federation Philippines, represented by Rev. Norberto Carcellar, C.M., executive director.
On Oct. 24, CUA concluded the screening of a three-part documentary film series tied to the Opus Prize. Titled “In Pursuit of Human Dignity,” the series explored the theme of social justice and included on-campus talks by the documentary filmmakers.
|More than 100 students watched "The Power of Forgiveness," one of the documentary films shown on campus in the weeks leading up to the presentation of the Opus Prize.|
About 60 students, including senior Anna Zaros, attended the Oct. 10 screening of “Sold: Fighting the New Global Slave Trade,” shown in Caldwell Hall Auditorium. The documentary follows three abolitionists from three different faith traditions, each combating slavery in a different part of the world. Jody Hassett Sanchez, director and producer, talked about the movie at the screening.
“I thought it was a great film,” says Zaros, a theology major from Charlotte, N.C. “Hearing the director’s comments was fascinating. She pointed out that the situation regarding slavery isn’t hopeless. People can make a difference.”
As a resident assistant in Centennial Village’s Unanue House, Zaros, 21, says she has helped to spread the word about the Opus Prize to CUA students.
The $1 million award will honor an unsung humanitarian hero — either an individual or organization — whose driving entrepreneurial spirit and abiding faith are aimed at transforming the lives of those challenged by poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease and injustice. The other two finalists will each receive awards of $100,000.
The Opus Prize Foundation partners with universities in giving the award, which enables students to meet and interact with the recipients and learn firsthand about humanitarian entrepreneurship. The partnering universities are encouraged to integrate the Opus Prize conferral into their curricula.
Rev. John Adams
Rev. Norberto Carcellar, C.M.
Brother Constant Goetschalckx, F.C.
The “buzz” on CUA’s campus about the prize has raised awareness of social justice issues, Zaros says. “I think the Opus Prize and the issues it brings up have the potential to reach every student on campus,” she says.
Zaros notes that the prize has helped to bolster awareness about the fledgling social justice committee within CUA’s Office of Campus Ministry. Every Tuesday in October, Zaros and other committee members manned a table in the Pryzbyla Center lobby to answer questions about their efforts to heighten student consciousness concerning issues such as fair trade with developing nations, poverty in the District of Columbia and the recent controversy surrounding the so-called Jena Six, a group of African-American students who have been charged with beating a white teenager at a Louisiana high school.
Unless otherwise indicated, the following upcoming events tied to the Opus Prize are open to the entire CUA community (students, faculty and staff):
Tuesday, Nov. 6, noon to 2 p.m.: A public discussion titled “Witnesses to Human Dignity: A Conversation With the Opus Prize Finalists” will feature Brother Stan, Father Adams and Father Carcellar. Moderated by Dean James Zabora, the event will include a multimedia presentation about the finalists and a Q-and-A session. Free boxed lunches will be provided. Pryzbyla Center, Great Room.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 8 p.m.: Mass at The House, Caldwell Hall. Celebrant: Rev. Robert Schlageter, O.F.M. Conv. Brother Stan will give a reflection at the Mass. Followed by a reception at The House for Opus finalists and students.
Thursday, Nov. 8, 7-9 a.m.: Campus Ministry trip to SOME with the Opus Prize finalists to serve breakfast to the homeless. After breakfast, Father Adams will speak to the students about service.
Thursday, Nov. 8, 1 p.m.: "The Legal Challenges of Organizing the Homeless: A Philippine Success Story," a presentation by Father Carcellar and colleagues from the Philippines. Walter A. Slowinski Courtroom, Columbus School of Law. A reception will follow in the Keelty Atrium.
Thursday, Nov. 8, 4:30 p.m.: Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Chapel, followed by a reception and the awards dinner in the Great Room of the Pryzbyla Center. All CUA students are encouraged to attend the Mass. The reception and dinner are by invitation only. Approximately half of the dinner guests will be CUA students.
For more information about the prize and the finalists, visit http://opusprize.cua.edu.
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Last Revised 29-Oct-07 11:37 AM.