The Catholic nonprofit Franciscan Mission Service will present its 11th annual Father Anselm Moons Award to Father Larry Snyder, St. Thomas' vice president for mission. The award will be presented at the organization's 2016 World Care Benefit and Celebration on May 13 in Washington, D.C.
The award was created to honor the organization's founder and to recognize an individual who exemplifies its mission and Franciscan values.
The organization is particularly impressed by and grateful for Snyder’s promotion of service opportunities for young people. According to a news release, in his role at St. Thomas, "Snyder prioritizes service as a way to recognize the connectedness between all human beings and all creation. He is continuing the St. Thomas tradition of working to change the community and the world for the better."
During his tenure at Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where he served as executive director, Snyder founded a full-time lay service organization for young adults.
“I was drawn to the work at Catholic Charities because of Father Larry’s commitment to enrolling young people of faith into full-time service to eliminate poverty,” said Franciscan Mission Service’s executive director and St. Thomas alumna Kim Smolik '08 Ed.D., who worked with Snyder in the Twin Cities. “This is a hallmark of his invitational and innovative approach to our shared responsibility to reduce poverty. And that is just one example of his commitment to serving those in poverty through effective and efficient models.”
After leading Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Snyder went on to serve as president of Catholic Charities USA. Under his leadership, CCUSA led responses to natural disasters, helped establish the creation of a first-of-its-kind domestic anti-poverty lab, launched a national social innovation initiative, and continued to serve as an advocate for those in poverty before Congress and the White House.
"I have tried to promote engagement with individuals and communities in need my whole life. It is truly in that human exchange that transformation of individuals and society can take place," Snyder said. "I believe in the principles of service and engagement and share them with the Franciscan Mission Service. Some truly remarkable people have received this award and I am honored to be numbered in their company."
Upon accepting the award on May 13, Snyder will speak about whether poverty is inevitable and how Catholics should be responding to it. Joining him on stage will be keynote speaker and St. Thomas alumnus John Carr '72. Carr is the former legislative coordinator for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and founder and director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University.