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Priests' Group To Give St. John XXIII Awards To Spiritual Author And Active Pastor


The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests will present its highest awards to an internationally known Franciscan priest and a longtime parish pastor who helped found the association in 2011.

Franciscan Father Richard Rohr of Albuquerque, N.M., and Father John “Jay” Davidson of Evansville will receive the St. John XXIII Award in Albuquerque on June 27 during the association’s annual assembly

Father Rohr has published numerous talks and books on spirituality and is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque. He is to be honored “for his 48 years of Franciscan priesthood, his prophetic preaching, teaching and writing, his spiritual mentoring of many, and for his embodiment of what Pope John XXIII and Vatican II envisioned.”

Father Rohr will give a keynote address at the assembly and also present a one-day retreat for assembly participants. The assembly is scheduled for June 25-28 at the Marriott Pyramid in Albuquerque.

Father Davidson, who serves as administrator of All Saints Parish in Evansville, will be honored “for his 54 years of priesthood, his tireless interfaith work for justice, his compassionate and collegial leadership, and for his role in the founding of the AUSCP, all in the pastoral spirit of Vatican II.” Father Davidson also helped establish and lead an Evansville-based interfaith social-justice organization, Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment.

The 2018 AUSCP Assembly will use the theme, “The Church in a Post-Modern World: Spirituality and Ministry in a Secular Age,” and ask the question, “Can we still attract and grow disciples?” 

Keynote speakers, in addition to Father Rohr, will be Franciscan Sister Katarina Schuth, a leading figure in Pastoral Theology and the Sociology of Religion, and author of the influential book, “Seminary Formation;” and San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, who authored “The Search for an American Public Theology and Morality and American Foreign Policy.” Bishop McElroy received national attention in 2017 when he called on community organizers and social-justice “protagonistas” to become disrupters and rebuilders of American society.

Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester will welcome AUSCP participants and preside at the Assembly Mass. Archbishop Wester has become a voice for immigrant rights, reducing poverty, the death penalty, workers’ rights and climate change.