March 20, 2016
The Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies (IPR) honored two of the country's most influential Catholics - Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Rev. James Martin, S.J., editor-at-large of America magazine - during its annual dinner at The Catholic University of America earlier this month.
IPR presented the Bishop John Joseph Keane Medallion to Woo at its Dean Hoge Memorial Lecture Fundraising Dinner. Father Martin delivered the evening's lecture.
IPR Acting Director Maria Mazzenga noted that Woo was chosen to receive this year's Keane Medallion because of her years of service with CRS and the University of Notre Dame. The medallion, which is named for Catholic University's first rector, is awarded annually to an individual for "a lifetime of service to academia, patria, and ecclesia." "Dr. Woo is an outstanding representative of this wide range of service," Mazzenga said. "As CEO and president of Catholic Relief Services, the official humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the U.S., she oversees an organization well known for its ability to put faith into action in its management of resources for distribution to the poor and needy around the world and in the U.S."Woo has been working as president of CRS since 2012. Prior to that, she served as dean of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business and associate executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University.
In 2013, Woo was named one of the "500 Most Powerful People" on the planet by Foreign Policy magazine. She is the author of the 2015 book Working for a Better World , as well as a monthly Catholic News Service column, which has been honored by the Catholic Press Association. For his lecture, Father Martin spoke on the topic "Encountering Jesus: Meeting the Jesus of History and the Christ of Faith."Mazzenga noted that the Dean Hoge Memorial Lecture is named for one of IPR's most prominent fellows. A well-respected sociologist of religion, Professor Dean Hoge died in 2008. "We feel [Father Martin] is fitting to deliver the lecture due to his record of publication of thought-provoking books on living as a Catholic in the world today, his practice of public engagement through his work with America magazine and a range of public media, and his ability to engage Catholics and non-Catholics on issues of spirituality and ethics," she said. A Jesuit priest and author, Father Martin has written several books, including The New York Times bestsellers J esus: A Pilgrimage and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything . He is a frequent commentator in the national and international media and has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.