Mount St. Joseph senior Brendan Maguire receives the Peace and Justice Award

Brother Dominique Olondo, Brendan Maguire, and Brother Jerry O'Leary.

At the Mount St. Joseph High School Senior Awards Assembly on May 31, Bro. Jerry O'Leary presented the Justice and Peace award to Senior Brendan Maguire. It is sponsored by the Murphy Initiative for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi of Baltimore. Mt. St. Joseph's principal Mr. Dave Norton invited Bro. Dominique Olondo to come to the podium as Bro. Jerry presented the award to Brendan in front of the Senior Class and the entire student body of Mt. St. Joseph. Bro. Dominique was warmly received by the students as Mr. Norton told them he was "one of our Xaverian Brothers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo" and was studying for an advanced degree in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College". He invited all those going to B.C. in the coming year to look him up when they got there.

Why Brendan was nominated for the award: The Bishop Murphy Peace prize is awarded to a student who recognizes that fulfilling service hour requirements should not be something to check off of a to-do list. Rather, this student understands that caring for those who are suffering or less fortunate, is simply consistent with what it means to be a Christian. The recipient of this award must possess both the optimism and faith that allow him to believe that one person can make a difference. He must understand that to bring about real change one must have the courage and energy to be part of such an effort.

We are proud to present this year's Bishop Murphy Peace prize to senior: BRENDAN MAGUIRE

The Bishop Murphy Peace prize is awarded to a student who recognizes that fulfilling service hour requirements should not be something to check off of a to-do list. Rather, this student understands that caring for those who are suffering or less fortunate, is simply consistent with what it means to be a Christian. The recipient of this award must possess both the optimism and faith that allow him to believe that one person can make a difference. He must understand that to bring about real change one must have the courage and energy to be part of such an effort.

This year’s award recipient demonstrates that he is a person who does service not for any award or recognition. In fact, this person would not consider what he does “award-worthy”. He views his actions of service as part of what all people should be called to do. He lives out the Judeo-Christian ethic of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. He does not judge other people. He chooses to help others simply because they are human beings who needs help. He does not hang out with a specific group of people, rather he hangs out with all people. He is his own person. He is not influenced by the behaviors of others. He is not influenced by what others will think of him. He is not influenced by the latest trend on social media. He has a strong moral compass to do what is best for his fellow humans. He acts not out of obligation or to seek an external reward, but rather because it is how one human should treat another human.

He has volunteered over the past two years with the SALT ministry program at OLPH parish which is a hands-on parish ministry that puts Jesus' words into action by serving the hungry and needy of Baltimore City and Howard County in a direct, relational way by preparing meals and serving the hungry. He has been a leading member of the No Bystanders Club and recently was selected as one of the student leaders for The ADL Theology Takeover day. He is a natural leader and has a good heart.