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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Redemptorist receives top award from Pax Christi

Father Francis Gargani, C.Ss.R.

Father Francis Gargani, C.Ss.R.

Redemptorist Father Francis Gargani was honored May 15, 2016, by Pax Christi Metro New York during an awards ceremony at St. Joseph Church in Greenwich Village. Receiving the organization’s top 2016 award, Father Gargani was honored for his “compassion . . . [and] perpetual help to countless people in myriad ways.”

Presenting the award was Rosemarie Pace, director of Pax Christi Metro New York. “There seems to be no one you neglect,” she said, reading from the plaque given to Father Gargani.

“And your service to all comes through prayer and spiritual guidance, teaching and ministering, song and dance, food and drink, and so much more. You share in our pain and celebrate our joy. With immeasurable generosity, you help Pax Christi Metro New York thrive.”

Father Gargani, 70, was professed in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1971. He is rector of the Redemptorist community in Brooklyn.

Also recognized during the Peacemaker Awards Reception were Sister Evelyn Lamoureaux, D.W.; Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez; and high-school students Caroline Bandigan, Jillian Eberlein, and Paul Thomas.

Father Matthew Allman, C.Ss.R.—vocation director for the Redemptorists’ Baltimore Province—played classical guitar as part of the evening’s entertainment.

In Father Gargani’s remarks after receiving the award, he thanked many people, saying it has been an honor to serve among the members of Pax Christi and adding, “I can only receive this acknowledgement in their name.”

He spoke of his parents, Frank and Fanny, who respectively “championed the underdog” and “taught me all justice and inclusivity begins around the table of love and hospitality.”

Father Gargani receives award from Rosemarie PaceClearly, Father Gargani took those early lessons to heart. As Ms. Pace put it, “One of the things I’ve learned about Francis is that if you want somebody who is going to roll out the red carpet and provide you with food and drink to feast forever, he’s the man you want. He himself says one of his charisms is hospitality. He just loves to do that.”

Father Gargani went on to acknowledge his brother Redemptorists, saying, “Where do I start naming the many sons of Alphonsus who have kept me grounded these many years, sharing a passion to proclaim the justifying justice of Christ, the Redeemer?”

His long career in social justice ministry has given him the chance to work with remarkable people, including the late Father Daniel Berrigan, SJ, with whom he gave retreats for the homeless. He also praised the late Sister Elizabeth Proefriedt, CSJ, “another saint of the Brentwood Sisters of St. Joseph” and “Pax Christi banner-bearer par excellence.”

The list of friends and colleagues he thanked and praised encompassed sisters, priests, and lay Catholics as well as poets, dancers, and lovers of the earth.

“So now you know,” said Father Gargani. “This recognition has very little to do with me and really belongs to a cast of thousands! I can only receive it in their name and in their name . . . thank you.”

To learn more about Father Gargani and his ministry, click to read a recent interview with him conducted by Sister Camille D’Arienzo, RSM, and published by National Catholic Reporter.