Named Peacemaker of the Year
HOUSTON, TX May 29, 2006-- Houston Dominican Jane Abell, OP was
named “Peacemaker of the Year” by Pax Christi-Texas
during the organization’s annual retreat in Houston, May 20.
The award comes in recognition of Sr. Jane’s many years of
working for justice and peace with many organizations, including
“I accept this recognition in the name of my community and
the sisters who have taken on many causes of peace,” Sr. Jane
said. “The Council has always been supportive of our projects.
The sisters have done it; they have been there,” she continued.
Sr. Jane served as her congregation’s Promoter of Justice,
Peace and Care of Creation from 1987 to 2005, during which time
she was active in education and lobbying for many justice causes.
Her work linked her with The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death
Penalty and the Center for the Healing of Racism, educating her
sisters and the public about the harm of the death penalty and racism.
Dave Atwood, member of Pax Christi-Texas, and long-time leader
of TCADP, made the presentation. He said, “Sr, Jane’s
commitment and efforts on behalf of justice are clearly demonstrated
in her involvement with many people.” Atwood cited especially
her co-founding with Benito Juarez of the Guatemala Support Network.
Education around justice and peace impelled Sr. Jane to organize
delegations to Guatemala and El Salvador at the height of the repression
of the poor by their governments in the 80’s. She returned
to El Salvador this year to mark the anniversary of the deaths of
Oscar Romero and the four churchwomen. She has also traveled to
the Rio Grande Valley at the Texas-Mexican border, visiting the
barrios and the Maquiladoras. Today she continues her work on behalf
of the immigrants coming to Texas seeking employment.
Sr. Jane has always been among the group of sisters who go to
Fr. Benning, GA for the annual protest against the School of the
Americas. Sr. Jane was instrumental in organizing her community
around the United Nations Decade of Non-Violence.
For the ten-plus years that Iraq was under cruel sanctions, Sr.
Jane was active in education around the harm done to the ordinary
people of Iraq. She was on the first delegation of “Voices
for Veritas” when Dominicans visited Iraq, especially to support
the Dominican Sisters of Iraq. She and Sr. Mariana Wood organized
the second Iraqi delegation. Jane participated with other Dominicans
in a month-long fast at Union Square in New York City in September
In Atwood’s closing remarks he said, “Sr. Jane, you
have a courageous heart and a sharp mind. You are a seeker of truth
and a wonderful person. You are a model for us all.”
In addition to a framed citation presented to Sr. Jane, Pax Christi
gave a monetary gift, which Sr. Jane will divide, between the Center
for the Healing of Racism and CRECEN, Centro de Recursos para Centroamericanos.
Her latest interest has formed around the study of ecology and
cosmology. She has brought to the sisters and the public speakers
and study groups on these topics. Awareness of the threat to the
local bioregions encourages efforts to conserve and preserve the
Sr. Jane has received other peace awards: in 1999, the Peacemaker
Recognition Award from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development
and the Diocesan Social Justice Education Steering Committee; in
1993, the Maryknoll Peace Prize awarded to Sr. Jane and the Dominican