April 19, 2017

Catholic Theological Union Honors Global Peace Negotiator Monica McWilliams with Highest Award

CHICAGO – Catholic Theological Union (CTU) will honor Monica McWilliams with the Blessed are the Peacemakers award for her tireless witness for peace in Northern Ireland, her efforts to combat domestic violence, and her current involvement with the pressing humanitarian crisis of international refugees. Each year, an institution or individual whose accomplishments and commitments reflect the values of the mission of CTU, particularly in the areas of reconciliation, justice, and peacemaking, is honoredwith the Blessed are the Peacemakers Award. In addition, CTU also presents its Diakonia service award, bestowed upon a distinguished Chicagoan whose service has made a positive and important contribution to the common good of Chicago and the nation.The 2017Diakonia awardee is Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, CM, President of DePaul University.  CTU will celebrate its annual Blessed are the Peacemakers Trustee Dinner on April 26, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago.

Currently a professor in the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, Monica McWilliams serves on a three-person panel established by the Northern Ireland government to make recommendations on the disbandment of paramilitary organizations. She served as the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission from 2005-2011 and was responsible for delivering advice on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. Distinguished Lecturer at the 2010 Women PeaceMakers Conference at the University of San Diego’s Institute for Peace and Justice, McWilliams is also the recipient of two honorary doctorates and the prestigious Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. In recent years, McWilliams has provided support and training for women negotiators in Colombia and Syria. She is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

“We are thrilled to have Monica McWilliams coming to CTU,” said Rev. Mark Francis, CSV, president of Catholic Theological Union. “Her life and work represent the kind of service and witness to peace that we want all of our students to strive for.”

To learn more about CTU’s inter-religious and educational programming, as well as the Blessed are the Peacemakers event, visit ctu.edu.