About Eileen Egan

Catholic Relief Services announced the Eileen Egan Journalism Award in May 1995 in honor of Ms. Eileen Egan, who passed away October 7, 2000, at the age of 88. Ken Hackett, then executive director of Catholic Relief Services, identified Ms. Egan's work with the agency's mission saying, "Eileen Egan exemplifies what CRS' mission is all about. Her recognition of war refugees as human beings worthy of dignity and respect represents the basic principles through which CRS was founded."


Eileen Egan

Born in Wales, Ms. Egan arrived with her family in New York City in time to complete her secondary education at Cathedral High School. A 1933 graduate of Hunter College, she was named to the Hunter Alumni Hall of Fame in 1983.

Ms. Egan joined Catholic Relief Services in 1943 as its first professional layperson. For four decades, Ms. Egan worked with Catholic Relief Services to assist refugees and development projects in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

A recipient of many awards, Ms. Egan received the Pope John XXIII Medal from Ursuline College of New Rochelle; the "Pacem in Terris" and the Freedom Award by the Davenport Diocese and Quad Cities Peace Committee; and the Peace Citation by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Notre Dame University. Ms. Egan's honorary degrees were awarded by Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kansas; St. Joseph's College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Holy Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts. Her article in the winter 1991 issue of Pax Christi-USA Magazine earned an award from the Catholic Press Association for the best treatment of the Gulf War in the American Catholic press.

Ms. Egan's publications include Catholic Relief Services: The Beginning Years and For Whom There Is No Room: Scenes From the Refugee World. Alive with details, these books profile Catholic Relief Services' inception, Ms. Egan's years of service with the agency and the need for global responsibility for Polish war refugees. A specially bound copy of For Whom There Is No Room was presented to His Holiness Pope John Paul II during his October 1995 visit to Baltimore.

Ms. Egan's long-term concern for peace led her to cofound the American PAX Association and its successor Pax Christi-USA, the American branch of International Pax Christi. Her association with Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement dates from the early 1960s. Ms. Egan was a contributing editor to the Catholic Worker, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and an Ambassador of Peace for Pax Christi-USA