On Monday, December 6, 2021, Conventual Franciscan Friar Phil Ley was one of seven individuals and service organizations who received the annual ‘Alfonso Garcia Robles Recognition for 2021.’ Held on a Zoom platform, the ‘Reconocimiento’ (Recognition) was hosted by the Rector of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Doctor Enrique Graue Wiechers. UNAM established this Reconocimiento in 2017 to honor the legacy of Mexican diplomat, and 1982 Nobel Peace Price recipient, Dr. Alfonso Garcia Robles.
The Reconocimiento honors individuals and organizations who work for the defense, promotion, protection, as well as working to guarantee the human rights, of (im)migrants confronted by dangerous and vulnerable conditions both within Mexico and globally.
This action echoes the call of Dr. Garcia Robles in his acceptance speech at the 1982 Oslo Nobel Peace Award ceremony. He challenged the Nobel Board to honor people struggling at the local level to defend human rights of (im)migrants who flee their homes, not by choice, but out of necessity fleeing violence, famine, disease, lack of employment, and thirst. UNAM heard that and established this annual Recognition.
Friar Phil was honored for establishing Posada Guadalupe in San Antonio, Texas, and for his fifteen years of service there among immigrant youth and adults. Friar Phil, along with each of the other recipients serving (im)migrants in Mexico, the USA and Canada, were presented to the international Zoom convocation through 4-minute videos describing the work in which they are involved. They received a certified document of Recognition as well as a gold medallion.
Congratulations, Friar Phil! Thank you for your faithful service to the Gospel and the poor.
– friar Charles McCarthy OFM Conv.