Honorary Degree Citation - Rev. Sean O’Connor Carroll, S.J.

Friday, May 24, 2019
Rev. Sean O’Connor Carroll, S.J.
Doctor of Public Service

Rev. Sean O’Connor Carroll, S.J.

Rev. Sean O’Connor Carroll, S.J.

Selfless humanitarian. Passionate advocate for migrant rights. Voice for those at society’s periphery.

Fr. Sean Carroll, you have dedicated your life to the Jesuit mission of providing education, ministry and outreach to the marginalized in society. For more than a decade, you have worked to develop a migrant ministry in Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico, providing humanitarian aid in an increasingly punitive environment.

You entered the Society of Jesus in 1989 and were ordained a priest in 2000. Four short years later, you found your calling at Los Angeles’ Dolores Mission, where you entered service as the pastoral ministries’ assistant for the California Province of the Society of Jesus, helping to coordinate pastoral initiatives among a dozen Jesuit parishes in California, Arizona, Utah and Hawaii.

These efforts led you to explore opportunities for a new migrant ministry in Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico and ultimately resulted in the founding of the Kino Border Initiative, a Catholic, bi-national collaborative dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance, education, and pastoral outreach to migrants in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. In 2009, you were named the Initiative’s executive director.

Recognizing the inherent dignity and worth of every human being, you spend your days laboring to achieve just and humane migration between the U.S. and Mexico, working along a border that has been characterized as “one of the most contentious and militarized conflict zones in the world…among non-warring nations.”

You and your staff work tirelessly to serve the vulnerable men, women and children who arrive at our border seeking security and a better life, offering them a humanizing presence in conditions that are confusing and often frightening.

You constantly seek to raise awareness of the challenging realities of migration, sharing your experiences with both secular and religious entities. You have even sought, and received, encouragement and support for your efforts from His Holiness Pope Francis.

In addition to your work with the Kino Border Initiative, you generously share your knowledge and experience as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of San Francisco and of Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2017, your good works were acknowledged with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Fairfield University.

That all may know of our great esteem for you and our strong support for your efforts to offer humane aid and a voice to migrants at the US/Mexico border, the College of the Holy Cross confers upon you this day the degree, Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa.