2015 Pedro Arrupe Service Award to Monsignor Peter Vaghi

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The Gonzaga DC Classic Pedro Arrupe Service Award

The Gonzaga Fathers’ Club established the Gonzaga DC Classic Pedro Arrupe Service Award in 2007. The award is named in honor of the great Jesuit priest, Father Pedro Arrupe, whose life personified service to others and who is often referred to as the “Second Founder” of the Jesuits.  Created in 2007, the award recognizes a Gonzaga graduate who has lived his life in service to others and meets the standards of “Being a Man for Others.”

The Gonzaga Fathers’ Club and the Gonzaga DC Classic Tournament Committee are proud to present the 2015 Pedro Arrupe Service Award to Monsignor Peter Vaghi, Gonzaga Class of 1966.

Monsignor Vaghi

After graduating from Gonzaga, Monsignor Vaghi attended the College of the Holy Cross and subsequently received a Fulbright Scholarship to attend the University of Salzburg in Austria.  He later attended the University of Virginia Law School and worked as an attorney in private practice for a number of years in Washington, D.C. He would later leave the practice of law to become a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Washington at the North American CollegeVatican City. He attended the Gregorian University in Rome in preparation for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1985 and designated a “Prelate of Honor” (an honor with the title “Monsignor”) by Pope John Paul II in 1995.

In his thirty years of priesthood, Monsignor Vaghi has been assigned to St. Ann parish at Tenleytown and St. Patrick parish in Washington D.C. Monsignor Vaghi is currently pastor of the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Md., and chaplain to the John Carroll Society, a society of professional and business men and women in service of the Archbishop of Washington. Early in his priesthood, at the request of Cardinal Hickey, he marshaled the legal community to provide pro bono legal services to the neediest individuals and families in the Archdiocese of Washington through the program now known as the Catholic Charities Legal Network which was founded in 1989.  Presently, there has been established the Monsignor Peter J. Vaghi Endowment, which will guarantee funding for the Legal Network to continue providing pro bono legal services to those in need.

He is also the author of several popular Catholic books and has contributed articles to many publications. His last book was Encountering Jesus in Word, Sacraments, and Works of Charity (Ave Maria Press 2013).

In a recent interview, for the magazine America, a publication of the Society of Jesus in the U.S., on the occasion of his 30th anniversary of priesthood, Monsignor Vaghi was asked about his role as a parish priest. He replied:

I have great hope for the parish and parish life. It has been my home for the last 30 years of my priestly life. The parish is where we encounter Jesus in the sacraments and are introduced to Him. It is the place where we are nourished and educated, where we are called to serve, and where we are called to help each other. The parish is at the heart of our church. Anything we can do to work together as priests and laity to deepen parish life will help build up the church. It will certainly be a sign of Christ’s love in the world today, a light on the hill.

In honor of receiving the Pedro Arrupe Service Award, Monsignor Vaghi will both be given an Eagle Statue and $500.00 will be donated to his choice of charity.