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Nov. 3 McCarrick Event to Recognize Karenna Gore


Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network, and Karenna Gore. (Photo courtesy of FAN)

WASHINGTON — The Franciscan Action Network is honoring Karenna Gore, director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, with the 2016 Theodore Cardinal McCarrick Award. All are welcome to FAN’s event on Nov. 3 at St. Francis Hall on Quincy Street.

Gore, daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, will receive the honor at FAN’s third annual McCarrick Award celebration, named for the former archbishop of Washington, an affiliate of the Province. Cardinal McCarrick, along with members of the Province, will be at the event on the grounds of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, to honor Gore, an author and attorney who holds a master’s degree in social ethics from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University and a law degree from Columbia Law School.

Since its establishment in 2008, FAN has been advocating for social justice issues from a faith perspective. Through education, events and lobbying efforts, FAN brings a collective Franciscan voice to the national discussion about moral values in the United States – a voice that seeks to stimulate awareness, and effect and transform U.S. public policy on the issues of human rights, immigration reform, climate change, human trafficking, gun violence and other social justice and environmental issues. FAN’s board includes representatives from a variety of Franciscan organizations. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, of St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Md., has been a member since FAN’s founding.

Recognizing Faith-driven Advocacy
Each year, FAN honors a person who demonstrates what it means to have a Franciscan heart and emboldens the Franciscan family to address social ills.  Gore was selected because her service, leadership and faith-driven advocacy for the environment embody FAN’s own faith-based social justice initiatives.

Gore has been widely recognized for her work of connecting religious groups to environmental issues. Earlier this year, she organized successful protests against the construction of The Constitution Pipeline, a fracked gas pipeline that would have extended 124 miles from Pennsylvania through Upstate New York.

Before her appointment to the Center for Earth Ethics, Gore served as legal counsel and director of community affairs for the Association to Benefit Children. She is also the author of Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America.

FAN’s partnership with the Center for Earth Ethics began when executive director Patrick Carolan was asked to participate in a “Religions of the Earth” Conference organized by Gore.

Previous recipients of FAN’s McCarrick Award were Eliseo Medina in 2014 and the Rev. Fletcher Harper, executive director of GreenFaith, ‪ an interfaith coalition that advocates for the environment, in 2015.

FAN’s Initiatives
As 2016 comes to a close, FAN is gearing up for several projects, among them the release of docudrama Sultan and the Saint, based on the events of St. Francis of Assisi’s visit to the Sultan al-Kamil that captures their riveting spiritual exchange and the great risks they took to achieve peace between Muslims and Christians in the 13th century. The docudrama will be released next month.

In addition, FAN is hosting a series of climate change training workshops for Catholics of minority populations, with the first scheduled for early December in New York City. FAN will also be participating in the annual nationwide Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend, Dec. 14, organized by the Coalition of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, of which FAN is a member.

FAN is continually monitoring policy and court decisions that affect human rights issues, recently deploring the Supreme Court’s Oct. 3 decision to refuse to rehear arguments in the United States vs. Texas – a decision that FAN director of advocacy Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF, said “dashes the hopes of millions of immigrants.” A lower court ruling will stand and thus block implementation of President Obama’s executive actions, which would have allowed eligible undocumented immigrants to remain together as families in the United States, as well as work temporarily, without fear of deportation.

Because it takes resources to implement these programs and projects, as well as to maintain an active and vocal presence on multiple fronts simultaneously, FAN asks private sector businesses, organizations and individuals to support its vital mission and join in recognizing honoree Karenna Gore for her work in environmental advocacy.

Tickets for next month’s McCarrick celebration, which cost $100 per person with a discount for religious, may be purchased through Nov. 1 by registering through FAN’s website online or by mail to:

Franciscan Action Network
Attn: Cardinal McCarrick Award
P.O. Box 29106
Washington, D.C. 20017

Opportunities to support the event, which will feature musical entertainment by Bethany Yarrow, daughter of singer Peter Yarrow, include tax-deductible institutional and individual sponsorship levels ranging from $500 to $10,000. Additional information is available from FAN’s director of campaigns and development Jason Miller at and 202-527-7568.

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