New Award for Clergy, and Two New University Bursaries

March 12, 2022

The Jesuits in Britain and Million Minutes are proud to announce the creation of a new award for clergy and religious who have driven real change in the field of social action and parish transformation, with special regard to young people. The Jesuits in Britain Rutilio Grande & Companions Award will honour those whose work in local parishes and communities often goes unrecognised.

The award recipient will be announced at an event in the Palace of Westminster in the summer, alongside the winners of the other awards created by Million Minutes, known collectively as ‘Celebrating Young People Awards’.  At the same time, the award, which is being funded by the Jesuits in Britain, will celebrate the life and social action of Jesuit martyr Rutilio Grande and his companions, Nelson Lemus and Manuel Solorzano. Blessed Rutilio Grande was a Jesuit priest who was killed for his work with the poor and oppressed in El Salvador, and who, along with his companions, was beatified in January.

The award will seek nominations for clergy and religious who are committed to transformative social action that is inclusive of young people and their lives.

The announcement of the award comes as Jesuits prepare to celebrate both the 400th anniversary of the canonisations of the founder of their order, St Ignatius, his companion St Francis Xavier, and the first feast day of Blessed Rutilio Grande – all on 12th March.

As part of the British Jesuits’ celebratory response to the beatification of Rutilio Grande, they are also today announcing the funding of two new bursaries, for students from all backgrounds studying at Liverpool Hope and Durham Universities.

The Jesuits in Britain Rutilio Grande Bursary (Liverpool) will fund one student per year for three years, to complete an MA by research, in the field of Pastoral Development at Liverpool Hope University. The Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool has recently completed its synodal process (where Pope Francis has asked every member of the global Church to undergo a process of discernment) and has formulated a detailed pastoral plan for the future. It is hoped that this new bursary will help local parishes to implement that plan.

The Jesuits in Britain Rutilio Grande Bursary (Durham) will award £5000 to one student per year for three years to complete the one year full-time (or part-time pro rata) Christian Theology (Catholic Studies) Masters programme whether taught MA or MA by Research.  Applicants from England, Scotland or Wales who have expressed an interest in pastoral renewal and/or parish revival in the Catholic Church in Britain, and have demonstrable financial need, will be able to apply. The Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University will work with representatives from the Jesuits in Britain to decide on the recipients of the bursary.

The two bursaries are being funded by a legacy left to the Jesuits in Britain by Mr George Pickup, who sadly died in 2021. Throughout his life Mr Pickup was a generous supporter of the Jesuits, and alongside a long career in nursing, he was particularly interested in education and the care of others. The Jesuits in Britain hope that these two bursaries will be a fitting tribute to his memory.

The Jesuits in Britain (the Society of Jesus) are part of the largest Catholic order of priests and religious brothers in the world, whose mission is to accompany others as they seek to find God in all things. The support for the new award and the bursaries reflect two of the Jesuits’ four Universal Apostolic Preferences, which guide their mission: ‘showing the way to God’ and ‘journeying with youth’.

Million Minutes works with parish priests, religious and clergy who do amazing work in the service of social action and parish transformation which is inclusive of young people, but who sometimes receive little credit. Indeed, some clergy they work with remain undercelebrated and appreciated by their local community. The Jesuits in Britain Rutilio Grande & Companions Award will highlight the many important projects being undertaken across the country.

For enquiries about the award, please email awards@millionminutes.org

Photo by Rachel Moore on Unsplash

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