The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) honored Jesuit Father Michael Garanzini, former president and current chancellor of Loyola University Chicago, with the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award on April 27.
The Holstein Award honors one individual nationally each year who has demonstrated a significant commitment to leadership for social justice grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. The award’s namesake, the late Robert M. Holstein, was a former Jesuit, labor lawyer, advocate for social justice and one of the founders of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, which led to the creation of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
During Fr. Garanzini’s 14-year tenure as the 23rd president of Loyola University Chicago, Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine became the first medical school in the U.S. to admit undocumented students. He also opened Arrupe College in August 2015, the world’s first Jesuit community college. As president and chancellor, Fr. Garanzini played a key role in creating Arrupe’s model of education allowing students from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds to attend college on a work-study basis and graduate debt-free in two years.
Fr. Garanzini also helped to shape the International Jesuit Ecology Project, an online e-textbook examining the major care for creation issues from the perspectives of science, spirituality and ethics. In June 2011, he was appointed by the Jesuits’ Superior General Father Adolfo Nicolás to serve as the international secretary for higher education.
(L-r) Previous winners of the Holstein Award include Fr. Charlie Currie, SJ (2009); Fr. Steve Privett, SJ (2010); Fr. Garanzini (2016); and Fr. Don MacMillan, SJ (2012). [PHOTO: Ian Frendreis]
“His faith and his motivation are always grounded in the art of the possible. He has an uncanny sense of when to make the next move to further the mission, whether it is to encourage a new program or solve a problem,” said Jesuit Father Mark Bosco, director of Loyola Chicago’s Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage.
“At Loyola it is easy to do this work,” said Fr. Garanzini in his acceptance speech, calling the university a place where “you meet people every day who are totally committed to the mission of social justice. They see Loyola as a force in the city, the country, the world that is going to change the world.”
Fr. Garanzini joins Fr. Charlie Currie, SJ, and Fr. Steve Privett, SJ, as former Jesuit university presidents to receive the Holstein award. Other awardees have included Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J.; Sr. Carol Keehan, D.C.; and Fr. Don MacMillan, SJ. [Source: Ignatian Solidarity Network]
The Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver offers Ignatian group retreats, individual spiritual direction, the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, and trains spiritual directors and guides of the Spiritual Exercises.