University’s Arrupe Award Honors Friends of the Poor in Jubilee Year of Mercy

April 12, 2016

University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., said the Friends of the Poor answers well St. Ignatius’ call for us “to be agents of change in a world that desperately needs us.”  His remarks were given at the University’s presentation of the Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award for Distinguished Contributions to Ignatian Mission and Ministry to Friends of the Poor.

Friends of the Poor, founded by the late Sister Adrian Barrett, IHM, in 1986 with the simple goal of easing the burden of those living in poverty, is celebrating its 30th anniversary year.

In accepting the award on behalf of the charity, Sister Ann Walsh, I.H.M., director of the Friends of the Poor, acknowledged the selfless service of Sister Adrian, who “got up and gave it up to God everyday.” She also thanked the organizations many volunteers, some of whom were in the audience, for their “treasured service.” She said, “We could not do what we do and be who we are without volunteers.”

Echoing St. Ignatius, Sister Ann said, “If you are looking for God, just look around you.”

Friends of the Poor was honored with the University’s Arrupe Award during the Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis.

Friends of the Poor provides assistance to those in need with food, clothing, household items and furniture, in addition to hosting holiday dinners at Thanksgiving, Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day and a Martin Luther King Jr. Day luncheon. The organization also runs Easter basket and Christmas gift drives, as well as after school programs, field trips and other events that serve area children in need.

Programs and services supported by Friends of the Poor include several food pantries; Big Friends, Little Friends afterschool programming; Clothes Line for Men, which is hosted at the University and provides men with clothing for work, interviews and special occasions; and Dollar Energy Water Assistance, for which they act as a referral site for the federal Dollar Energy Program, among others.

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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