Common Hope, a St. Paul-based non-profit organization that provides education, health care and housing to children and families in need in Guatemala, will receive the Dignitas Humana Award Sept. 13 from St. John’s University in Collegeville.
Common Hope — founded by the Huebsch family — began working with families in Guatemala in 1986, helping them to place their children in school and finding caring individuals in the U.S. to sponsor the cost of each child’s education. Today it serves nearly 8,000 impoverished children and adults in 17 communities outside Antigua and Guatemala City.
The Dignitas Humana Award honors those who recognize and strive to advance the human dignity of all persons and exemplify the Judeo-Christian values of service, respect, kindness and compassion.
School president to retire
Jill Reilly, president of the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, will retire following the 2010-2011 school year.
During her 16-year tenure, the school accomplished several significant projects including a 70,000 square-foot addition; construction of StarDome, the first domed high school athletic facility in the area; the launch of a one-to-one laptop computer program for students and creation of a Faith in Action program, which incorporates faith and character-building components into all areas of school life.
Reilly was a 2008 recipient of the Catholic Spirit’s Leading with Faith award for her leadership in education.
The fourth annual Benedicta Riepp Award was given to Joan Strom Riebel of Minneapolis and Mary Jo Willette Hughes of Waite Park by the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict Aug. 20 during the monastery’s annual donor appreciation event.
Riebel, a member of St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis, has been the executive director of Family Alternatives, a private, non-profit treatment foster care agency for 26 years. She oversees the supervision of 100 foster homes and provides specialized training for foster parents. She is known for her deep sense of hospitality, which she says she learned from her Benedictine teachers at the College of St. Benedict, according to a press release about the awards. Each year she sets aside part of her yard in the Tangletown neighborhood of Minneapolis for a community garden.
The Benedicta Riepp Award recognizes women who exemplify Benedictine and Gospel values.