The Catholic University of America

Nov. 8, 2007

$1 Million Opus Prize Awarded In Honor of Brother Constant Goetschalckx

Opus Prize Foundation, Catholic University to Present Award Tonight

Brother Constant Goetschalckx, F.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 8, 2007) - The $1 million Opus Prize for faith-based, social entrepreneurship was awarded to AHADI International Institute in Tanzania in honor of Brother Constant Goetschalckx, F.C., founder and director. The Opus Prize Foundation, in partnership with The Catholic University of America, announced this annual recognition this morning. A dinner and awards ceremony will be held at 6:30 tonight at CUA's Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.

For more information about Opus Prize-related events that have taken place this week at Catholic University, click here.

Brother Stan, as he is known, is a Belgian-born member of the Brothers of Charity who heads an organization that educates refugees from the war-torn countries of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. He was one of three finalists selected for the fourth annual Opus Prize for their dedication to transforming the lives of others while working on the front lines of today's most persistent social problems.

The other two finalists, Rev. John Adams, president of SOME (So Others Might Eat) in Washington, D.C., and the Homeless People's Federation Philippines, represented by its executive director, Rev. Norberto Carcellar, C.M., will each receive an award of $100,000.

"These social entrepreneurs are transforming the lives of some of the world's most vulnerable and destitute by providing them with education, opportunities and hope. They are demonstrating that change is possible," said Amy Sunderland, principal adviser with the Opus Prize Foundation. "We are humbled by their selfless dedication and proud that the Opus Prize Foundation can help further their work."

The award honors an unsung humanitarian - either an individual or an organization - whose driving entrepreneurial spirit and abiding faith are aimed at solving persistent, large-scale social problems. The Opus Prize Foundation partners with universities, which enables students to meet and interact with the recipients and learn firsthand about social entrepreneurship. The partnering universities are encouraged to integrate the Opus Prize conferral into their curricula.

"The Catholic University of America has been enriched by the experience of partnering with the Opus Prize Foundation to bring the work of these three outstanding faith-based humanitarians to the attention of the world," said Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., university president. "Through this process we have engaged our students in the theme of service, which is integral to the university's Catholic identity. These are things that gladden the heart."

Brother Stan leads an organization whose Swahili name means "working toward the fulfillment of a promise." AHADI provides post-secondary training for 1,000 via a distance-learning program and instruction for 25,000 students per year studying for their high school diplomas. AHADI was born out of the misery of the ethnic wars and rebel activity that had ravaged Central Africa's Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee to neighboring Tanzania. Himself a teacher, Brother Stan saw not only a tremendous need to educate these refugees, but also a tremendous opportunity.

Father Adams has directed SOME for the past 29 years. Under his leadership, SOME has grown from a soup kitchen that served 50 to 60 people daily with a single employee and two volunteers to an organization that serves more than 850 meals a day and offers medical and dental clinics, counseling, addiction treatment and housing to the homeless with a staff of 250 employees and several thousand volunteers.

The Homeless People's Federation Philippines, represented by Father Carcellar, is an organization that has enabled squatters living on the sprawling Payatas garbage dump in Quezon City, Philippines, to create community savings and credit programs, purchase land, build housing and set up waste disposal and water distribution systems.

Established in 2004, the Opus Prize is a $1 million faith-based humanitarian award and two $100,000 awards given annually to recognize unsung heroes - either individuals or organizations - who are working to solve poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease, injustice and other social issues. Opus Prize winners combine a driving entrepreneurial spirit with an abiding faith to combat today's most persistent social problems. The prize is awarded by the Opus Prize Foundation, a philanthropic organization affiliated with The Opus Group, and presented by a college or university, giving recipients an opportunity to inspire the next generation. Opus Prize winners are anonymously selected and the Opus Prize Foundation does not accept unsolicited nominations. For more information, visit

To view videos about the Opus Prize finalists, see

MEDIA are invited to cover the dinner and awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8. Reporters who would like to attend the event must contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy at Catholic University at 202-319-5600 or Carolyn Parsons at the Opus Prize Foundation at 952-346-6318 (office) or 651-208-9931 (mobile) by 5 p.m.

NOTE: Photos of the three finalists are available on request.