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Bishop McCarthy Spirit of Mission recipients, 2019-2023

Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ Bishop John E. McCarthy Spirit of Mission Award is conferred annually to a returned Maryknoll lay missioner for continued justice, nonviolence and/or mission service after they have returned to the United States. Award recipients demonstrate ongoing passion and dedication to living out their mission vocation, which is the joyful story of God’s love. The award was first conferred in 2019.

The award is named after the late Bishop John E. McCarthy of Austin, Texas. Known for his social justice and advocacy work, he was dedicated to promoting the role of laity in the church and Catholic Social Teaching. An indefatigable promoter of mission and an ardent supporter of Maryknoll Lay Missioners, Bishop McCarthy also was a strong advocate for the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees.

He was one of the founders of what is now called the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which was launched in 1970 as the U.S. bishops’ major domestic anti-poverty effort. In the midst of a nation coming to grips with racism and systemic poverty, CCHD provided a means for local communities to fund self-help programs and hold civic leaders accountable for community improvements.

Nominations should be received by July 30. The award is conferred annually on World Mission Sunday, the penultimate (next to last) Sunday in October.

The criteria for nominees include:

  • Currently or within the past three years, they have promoted justice and nonviolence in the U.S., particularly with marginalized communities.
  • They returned from their Maryknoll Lay Missioners commitment at least five years ago.
  • They completed at least one full contract as a Maryknoll lay missioner.


Past Bishop McCarthy Award recipients:


Please submit nominations on the form below: 

Bishop McCarthy Award Nomination Form

Submission deadline: Aug. 15

Maryknoll Lay Missioners
Compelled by faith to engage with people across cultures and ethnicities, Maryknoll lay missioners live, love and work with communities on the margins to promote active nonviolence and healing.