Saint Paul University awards the Eugène de Mazenod Medal to CPJ’s executive director Joe Gunn (front). Back row: Rev. Eugene King, OMI, Saint Paul University Conseil d’Administration; Dr. Chantal Beauvais, Saint Paul University Rector, Rev. Richard Beaudette, OMI, St. Joseph’s Parish, Ottawa. (SPU photo)
OTTAWA — Saint Paul University (SPU) has awarded the Eugène de Mazenod Medal to John Joe Gunn, a volunteer for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and a citizen actively involved in social justice.
The medal, which bears the name of the founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, recognizes Eugène de Mazenod’s approach in showing boldness and zeal in addressing the urgent social issues of his time. The Eugène de Mazenod Medal honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development of human capital in their community, in their environment or in society as a whole.
Gunn has worked in social justice in several capacities: at the diocesan level, as a staffer for religious congregations of women and men, and as director of the Social Affairs Office of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. In December 2012, Gunn was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for “exemplary service and commitment to the betterment of the community,” and in 2013, he was granted a certificate of honour from Development and Peace (CARITAS Canada) in recognition of his efforts in international solidarity. Throughout his career he has been a leader in promoting and defending social justice.
“Throughout his career and volunteer work, Mr. Gunn has consistently demonstrated leadership, boundless energy and commitment to the cause of justice, fairness and decency. Saint Paul University is proud to bestow one of its highest honours on such deserving recipient,” said SPU Rector Dr. Chantal Beauvais.
Gunn has written the Journey to Justice column in the Prairie Messenger for a number of years.
Saint Paul University is the founding college of the University of Ottawa (1848), with which it has been federated since 1965. Bilingual and on a human scale, it offers programs in social communication, counselling and psychotherapy , canon law, public ethics, conflict studies, social innovation, philosophy, human relations, and theology.