Sister Marilyn Lacey is named 2017 Opus Prize Laureate

October 12, 2017

It would have been impossible to walk away from the Hyatt Regency’s Centennial Ballroom in downtown Denver on Wednesday night and not feel that urge to “go forth and set the world on fire.”

Regis played host to the 2017 Opus Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious faith-based humanitarian awards. It strives to inspire the next generation to pursue lives of service. The Opus Prize Foundation funds the $1 million award and two $100,000 awards recognizing social entrepreneurship.

With an enthusiastic audience of students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the greater Denver community, Father John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J., named Sister Marilyn Lacey and her nonprofit organization, Mercy Beyond Borders, as this year’s $1 million winner. Working in Haiti and South Sudan, Lacey and her organization are helping women and girls escape extreme poverty through educational, economic and empowerment opportunities.

“I felt called by God to help these women and girls who are suffering,” Lacey said earlier in the day. “In serving others, we can find a connectedness, a kinship that leads to binding joy.”

The other two finalists included Sister Stan Terese Mumuni — founder of Nazareth Home for God’s Children, which works in Ghana caring for children born with physical, mental or behavioral disabilities — and Drs. Jason Reinking and Noha Aboelata, whose work through Roots Community Health Center is providing health care to impoverished people living on the streets of Oakland, California.

“Your work truly restores hope and ignites the possibilities for those who live at the margins,” Fitzgibbons said, addressing all three finalists. “We are inspired and moved by your example.”

The Denver City & County Building at 1437 Bannock St. is lit with Regis blue and gold this week through Friday, Oct. 13, to honor the Opus Prize and the University’s 140th anniversary, which is Nov. 5.

Read about the other finalists for the Opus Prize here. if you haven’t heard of the Opus Prize or need to refresh your knowledge, get more info here.

Regis University is a premier, globally engaged institution of higher learning in the Jesuit tradition that prepares leaders to live productive lives of faith, meaning and service. Regis University has four campus locations in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs with more than 11,000 enrolled students. For more information, visit www.regis.edu.