The award was created to honor the founder of Franciscan Mission Service and to recognize an individual who exemplifies the organization’s mission and Franciscan values. It is presented during the World Care Annual Benefit and Celebration.

About Anselm Moons


In His Own Words

Fr. Anselm Moon’s articles
from the World Care newsletter

The Challenge of Lay Missioners,” 1990.

Laity Co-Lead with Clergy,” 1991.

Dutch Franciscan friar Fr. Anselm Moons, OFM, passed away on  Nov. 14, 2016. A native of Holland, he served as a missionary in Pakistan for 25 years and then traveled widely as a member of the General Council of the Franciscan Order in Rome. In 1985, he came to the U.S. at the request of a group of North American Franciscan friars (OFM) to help prepare friars for overseas mission.

But Fr. Moons deeply believed in the role of the laity in the Church, and wished to encourage them in their desire to go on mission. He believed the “laity are the future of the Church.” With the support of the North American Franciscan friars, Fr. Moons started the Lay Mission Formation Program in 1989 to offer lay Catholics the opportunity to serve overseas in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare. The first Franciscan Mission Service class was commissioned and sent into the field in 1990.

Fr. Moons was convinced that the missionary task of the Catholic Church extends not only to impoverished areas of the world but also to places of power, affluence and privilege. For this reason, missioners are called to lifelong mission in North America after their service abroad, by drawing on the knowledge, skills, and faith development that were part of their overseas mission experience as the basis for their commitment to social change in the North American Church and society.

Past Awardees

2019: Jeff and Teresa Redder, OFS – With a passion for service, community, and prayer that drew them to become professed members of the Secular Franciscan Order 27 years ago, Jeff and Teresa bring Franciscan joy to their many ministries.

2018: Fr. Ignacio “Iggy” Harding, OFM – Parochial Vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Triangle, VA, lifelong missioner, and former director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

2017: Sr. Damon Nolan, MFIC, Sr. Jean Morrissey, MFIC, Sr. Chris Cullen, MFIC, founders and visionaries of the Unidad Academica Campesina-Carmen Pampa (Bolivia).

2016: Fr. Larry Snyder – Vice President for Mission at the University of St. Thomas, former President (10 years) of Catholic Charities USA, and author of “Think and Act Anew: How Poverty in America Affects Us All and What We Can Do About It.”

2015: Fr. John O’Connor, OFM – Executive Assistant to the Minister General for Development and Fundraising for the Order of Friars Minor, board member of Franciscan Mission Service, and past Provincial of Holy Name Province.

2014 : Jack Jezreel – Founder of JustFaith Ministries

2013:  Sr. Pat Farrell, OFS – past-president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and former missionary to Chile and El Salvador.

2012: Ambassador Thomas P. Melady and Dr. Margaret Melady – diplomats, scholars, and authors who served in Burundi, Uganda, and the Vatican.

2010:  Sr. Barbara Fried, SMIC – long-time staff member at Franciscan Mission Service, and her congregation, the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.

2009: Russel Testa, founder of Franciscan Action Network, and Megeen White Testa, Franciscan Mission Service returned missioner and former co-director.

2008: Sr. Dianna Ortiz, OSU, former missionary to Guatemala, and founder of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC).

2007: Marie Dennis, Director of Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns and Co-President of Pax Christi International.

2006: Fr. Joseph Nangle, OFM, former FMS Executive Director and member of the OFM Holy Name Province.

2005: Marguerite Hohm, for her sister, Sr. Dorothy Stang, a nun murdered in Brazil for advocating for the rights of poor farmers.