FMS to Honor Russell and Megeen Testa

HNP Communications Around the Province

WASHINGTON — The Franciscan Mission Service here will present the Fifth Annual Anselm Moons, OFM, award to HNP’s JPIC Director Russell Testa, and his wife, Megeen, at the annual FMS World Care Benefit and Celebration on Oct. 9. In addition, the first recipient of the Fr. Joseph Nangle, OFM, Lifelong Mission Award will also be honored.

Named for the Province’s Joe Nangle, OFM, former FMS director, the new award embodies the spirit of Joe’s work as a missioner and advocate for justice and peace, according to Kim Smolik, FMS executive director.

Congratulations to the Testas
Testa and Megeen White Testa will be honored for their longtime commitment to Franciscan values. The award is named for Fr. Anselm Moons, OFM, who came to the United States in 1985 from the Dutch Franciscan Province to begin FMS at the request of the North American friars.

Testa and White Testa represent Moon’s commitment to FMS, according to Smolik.

Her husband, Russ, is the founding executive director of the Franciscan Action Network. FAN, based in the United States, is a Franciscan institutional effort to bring a coordinated and effective Franciscan voice to the advocacy efforts directed to inclusive social transformation. He serves in this role in conjunction with his position as the director of the Office for JPIC.

The JPIC Office was founded by Testa in 2000, the same year he founded the Center for Ministry and Public Life at Washington Theological Union. He serves as an ex officio member of the FAN Board of Directors.

His wife, White Testa, was a member of the first missioner class in 1990. She served in Africa from 1990 to 1993, working at boarding schools in the poor communities of Zambia and Zimbabwe. She was an FMS staff member for eight years, using her time to shape the formation training program. Her dedication to mission spans more than 20 years through her service to the United States Catholic Mission Association. A board member of FMS, she is pursuing a graduate degree in nursing.

The Testas live in Wheaton, Md.

First Joe Nangle, OFM, Lifelong Mission Award
Dan McNeil is the First Annual Joe Nangle, OFM Lifelong Mission Award recipient for his work in peace education. The award honors the work of Joe, who began his professional life as a missioner in Peru and Bolivia, and continues today in Washington, D.C. Joe served as the director/co-director of FMS for 12 years and serves on the board of directors.

McNeil began his career with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as grants coordinator and director of corporate and foundation giving. During this time, he served as the president of the Siberian Carmelite Fund, a nonprofit volunteer group that raises money to support a Carmelite nun who moved to Novosibirsk to establish a presence there.

Near the end of 2000, he began working as development director at the Guild Incorporated and the Guild of Catholic Women, which help people with mental illness live independently. In 2007, he became the executive director of the Peace Maker Foundation. This foundation raises contributions for schools to support their efforts for violence prevention and conflict resolution.

He and his wife, Amy, live with their three children in Roseville, Minn.

The awards dinner takes place at St. Francis Hall, 1400 Quincy Street, NE, in Washington, D.C., from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 9. All are invited to the awards dinner. The cost is a $40 per person donation. To register, visit the FMS Web site.

Supporters of the Franciscan Mission Service — both individuals and organizations — are invited to submit an advertisement to the FMS for inclusion in the event program. Information can be found on the FMS site.