University Presents Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award to Sister Margaret Ann O’Neill

Mar 4, 2015

The University of Scranton presented its annual Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award to Margaret Ann O’Neill, S.C., founder and director of Centro Arte para la Paz, Suchitoto, El Salvador. From left are: Christian Krokus, Ph.D., associate professor of theology/ religious studies; Mollie L. Vita, coordinator of international service programs; Ryan J. Maher, S.J., executive director of the University’s Jesuit Center; Sister O’Neill; University President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.; and Kimberly A. Pavlick, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication.

The University of Scranton presented its annual Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award for Distinguished Contributions to Ignatian Mission and Ministry to Margaret Ann O’Neill of the Sisters of Charity, the founder and director of Centro Arte para la Paz in El Salvador. The presentation was made to a standing room only crowd on Feb. 26 on campus.

In presenting the award, University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., said Sister O’Neill “is an example if what St. Ignatius calls us to do in our work.”

In accepting the award, Sister O’Neill said that the award didn’t go just to her, but rather was a “social award” that also belongs to her family, the Sisters of Charity and her students, as well as many members of the University community who have traveled to El Salvador over the years through various service and mission initiatives.

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.

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.

To read an article about the Arrupe Award presentation written by University of Scranton Student Correspondent Elizabeth Polishan, visit the


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