We are planning on holding the 2021 Franciscan International Award Dinner ‘in person’ sometime in early November. Please stay tuned to this page and our other communications as more details emerge.
2021 marks the 63nd presentation of The Franciscan International Award, which has honored men, women and organizations that symbolize the spirit and the apostolic zeal of St. Francis of Assisi. Previous recipients of the award include: the late Dr. Billy Graham for true Ecumenism (1972); the late Dr. Mildred Jefferson, M.D. – as a leader in the Pro-Life Movement (1978); Sister Helen Prejean – for being an advocate for those on death row, their victims, their families, and the families of their victims (2003); Fran Heitzman, the founder of Bridging, for helping families to furnish homes with hope (2014) and last year, Risen Savior Missions, glorifying God by feeding starving children.
For 63 years the Franciscan International Award Dinner has been an opportunity for retreatants and friends of the retreat house to gather together and support the ministry of the Retreat House as well as honoring a person or an organization who embodies the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. We hope that you can join us on May 9th to honor Loaves and Fishes of Minnesota.
History of the Franciscan International Award/past recipients
Each year the Order of Friars Minor Conventual presents an award to an individual or to an organization which is committed to serving the Ideals of Christ, especially as they were proclaimed by St. Francis of Assisi. This Franciscan International Award is presented yearly by the Conventual Franciscans on behalf of Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center, Prior Lake, Minnesota.
The Franciscan Order was founded in 1209 as an Order within the Roman Catholic Church by St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis had many devoted friends and benefactors among the inhabitants of his native Italy. Many of these were especially honored by being awarded honorary membership with the Franciscan Order. So, from the very beginning of the Order, individuals who served others in an outstanding way were given a “Franciscan Award” for their acts of charity. That custom endures to the present day and was the basis for reestablishing the Franciscan International Award In 1959.
PAST RECIPIENTS OF THE FRANCISCAN INTERNATIONAL AWARD
1959 Mr. and Mrs. I.A. O’Shaughnessy — Family Life
1960 Archbishop William Brady – Journalism
1961 Mr. Lawrence Welk – Family Entertainment
1962 Mr. Charles Kellstad – Business
1963 Dr. Finn J. Larsen – Science
1964 Dr. Charles W. Mayo – Medicine
1965 Mr. Ara Parseghian – Athletics
1966 Mr. F.K. Weyerhaueser – Conservation
1967 Alcoholics Anonymous – Social Service
1968 Mr. James T. Griffin – Promoting Ideals Among Youth
1969 Mr. George Harris – Promoting Civic Welfare
1970 Baroness Catherine DeHueck Doherty – Womanly Virtue
1971 Mr. Harry Reasoner – Communications
1972 Dr. Billy Graham – True Ecumenism
1973 Dr. & Mrs. J.C. Wilke – Pro-Life Movement
1974 Governor Patrick C. Lucey – Criminal Justice Reform
1975 Mr. and Mrs. Joe Rigert – Interracial Justice
1976 Dr. B.F. Pearson, M.D. – Healing Ministry
1977 Mr. Francis MacNutt – Spiritual Healing
1978 Dr. Mildred Jefferson, M.D. – Pro-Life Movement
1979 Fr. Bruce Ritter, O.F.M. Conv. – Youth Ministry
1980 Mr. John E. McCarthy – Work in Refugee Affairs
1981 Fr. William B. Wasson – Work with Orphaned and Disabled Children
1982 Lorand and Anna Andahazy – Classical Arts
1983 Fr. Urban Wagner, O.F.M. Conv. – Founder of Franciscan Retreats
1984 Gerald and Patricia Mische – Global Awareness Education
1985 John Michael Talbot – Contemporary Christian Music
1986 Wilko B. Schoenbohm – Service to the Disabled
1987 Sesame Street Staff – Excellence in the Education of Children
1988 Sister M. Giovanni, SSND – Work with Today’s Youth
1989 Rabbi Max A. Shapiro – Work in Jewish-Christian Dialogue
1990 Loaves and Fishes Too – Feeding the Hungry
1991 Madonna Kerber – Volunteer Work with Prisoners and the Disadvantaged
1992 Father Kenneth J. Roberts – Catholic Priest\Evangelist
1993 Sisters of St. Clare – Dedicated Lives of Prayer and Contemplative Living
1994 Carolina Mata-Woodruff – Advocacy for Migrant Workers
1995 Rainbows for all God’s Children – Healing for Those Who Grieve
1996 Archbishop John Roach – Outstanding Church Leadership
1997 Marty Haugen – Composer of Liturgical Music
1998 National Evangelization Teams – Catholic Youth Ministry
1999 Habitat for Humanity – Housing for the Poor
2000 Mary Jo Copeland of “Sharing and Caring Hands” for mobilizing help to the poor.
2001 Janet Krocheski — For Leadership for Life.
2002 Friars Regis Armstrong, Bill Short, and Wayne Hellmann, for Franciscan Scholarship
2003 Sister Helen Prejean — Advocate for those on Death Row, their victims, their families, and the families of their victims.
2004 Jacob Wetterling Foundation — for promoting and protecting the integrity of children.
2005 Camp Heartland — for providing summer recreation to children with HIV/AIDS
2006 Worldwide Marriage Encounter — for supporting and celebrating Marriage
2007 The Knights of Columbus — for service to one and all.
2008 Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, DD, for Servant Leadership
2009 The Cristo Rey Network, transforming Urban America One Student at a Time
2010 Fr. Juniper Cummings, OFM Conv. for Building and Rebuilding the Church
2012 Fr. Michael Joncas, for contributions to the liturgy and sacred music
2013 Gina Tupy, for inspiring, evangelizing and motivating our young people
2014 Fran Heitzman, founder of Bridging, the largest non-profit furniture bank in North America
2015 Feed My Starving Children
2016 Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
2017 VEAP (Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People) For Neighbors Serving Neighbors In Need
2018 Risen Savior Missions – Glorifying GOD by Helping Starving Children
2019 Loaves and Fishes – for providing nutritious meals to anyone in need