Sister Micheline Lattouf of the Good Shepherd Sisters will receive the Sister Mary Byles Peace and Justice Prize at a ceremony and lecture on the Maryville University campus on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Lattouf heads the Good Shepherd Social and Community Center in Deir al-Ahmar, a village in Lebanon’s northern Bekaa Valley.
Originally established to run after-school programs and remedial classes for Lebanese children, the Center has expanded to support Syrians crossing the border since the onset of Syria’s civil war. The Center distributes shelter materials, food, water and clothing to Syrian families. Its services play a critical role during the winter months when many temporary shelters are destroyed by harsh conditions.
In addition to supplying the basics for survival, the Center provides a safe environment for families to rebuild their lives. Lattouf and her staff work with adult refugees to help them find employment options in the face of long-term displacement. They also provide education for more than 300 refugee children, with many classes taught by Syrian teachers. School brings structure and a sense of normalcy to these children’s lives during wartime.
Lattouf and the Good Shepherd Sisters have few resources to meet the growing needs of Syrian refugees. They work with a variety of international humanitarian organizations to support their work including Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.
The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Email Germaine Murray to reserve your place.
Previous honorees include Civil Rights Attorney Kathleen T. Zellner; the late Frankie Muse Freeman, a St. Louis civil rights pioneer; and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
About the Sister Mary Byles Peace and Justice Prize & Lecture
The Sister Mary Byles Peace and Justice Prize & Lecture, which carries a monetary award provided through the Sister Mary Byles Endowed Lecture Series Fund, has been established by Maryville University to honor the legacy of Sister Mary Byles, an esteemed professor of humanities and theology. Throughout her long career at Maryville, she was well-known among religious leaders in the St. Louis area for her significant efforts to further ecumenical and interfaith relations. The prize and lecture in her name will draw attention to the moral and ethical issues still existing in modern society, and further the University’s mission to instill a sense of social consciousness within its graduates.