The University to Present Annual Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award on Thursday

February 24, 2015

The University of Scranton will present its annual Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award for Distinguished Contributions to Ignatian Mission and Ministry to the founder and director of Centro Arte para la Paz in El Salvador Margaret Ann O’Neill of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth of New Jersey. The presentation assembly will take place in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall on Thursday, Feb. 26, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Sister O’Neill has lived in El Salvador for 25 years, most recently serving as director of Centro Arte para la Paz (Art Center for Peace), Suchitoto, El Salvador, a regional educational cultural center promoting peace through dance, art, and theological reflection. Programs offered through the Center include workshops and seminars, as well as a museum, art gallery and library. She began serving in the Dioceses of San Salvador in 1986, assisting refugees and accompanying them during the civil war that was raging in that country at that time. She first worked in Calle Real, alongside Jesuit Refuge Service Volunteers, a group founded by Father Pedro Arrupe.

A highly respected long-time peace activist, Sister O’Neill has received many honors and awards including the 2008 Peacemaker Award of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and the 2008 Ciudadana Ilustre Award, which recognized her work on behalf of social and cultural development in Suchitoto.

A theology professor, Sister O’Neill served as assistant professor at Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education in El Salvador and at Santa Clara University’s Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador. Previously, she also served as an associate professor of Iona College.

Sister O’Neill earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Elizabeth College, her master’s degree from Marquette University and her Ed.D. from New York University.

The Arrupe Award is named in honor of the late Very Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., the superior general of the Society of Jesus from 1965 to 1983. The University instituted the award in 1995 to further its namesake’s vision by recognizing men and women for outstanding contributions in a wide variety of Ignatian-inspired ministries.

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