Price receives alum award for purpose, devotion and leadership

June 26th, 2015 | SMWC

Maria Price

“The Louisville community would be poorer without the gifts that Maria selflessly shares,” reads one of the nomination letters that contributed to Maria Price, of Louisville, Ky., receiving the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Award.

Price, 1987 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC), received the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Award for possessing similar purpose, devotion, community vitality and leadership as exhibited by the College’s foundress.

“It’s very humbling, and I feel most undeserving, and I feel full of gratitude.  It’s been overwhelming, so in all, I just tried to rest in the gratitude of the gifts I’ve been given and the ways I’ve been able to contribute,” said Price. “This award to me is a challenge. It’s a challenge to live up to the award and to live up to the wonderful attributes of Mother Theodore Guerin. For me, there could be no greater honor than to be nominated by people I love and respect, to stand in the company of previous award winners who are my mentors and spiritual guides and they are giants among women and men. There could be no greater honor than to be associated in any way with Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.”

Maria currently serves as the executive director at St. John Center for Homeless Men in Louisville, which assists homeless men by providing them hope and help to get them off the streets – for good. Services provided for the men include IDs, food stamps, mental and physical health services, and other essentials such as long distance phone cards and clothing. She has worked at the shelter since 2004 when she joined the team as a development director.

After teaching high school in Louisville for five years, she became a community organizer, working with communities affected by hazardous waste landfills and heavily polluting industries, educating the public on LGBT issues, or working to harness the collective power of labor, community, and faith communities to advance economic justice. She also faithfully serves as a providence associate for the Sisters of Providence. She has become a leader among her peers in shaping who and what the Associates are in relation to the Congregation. She has put her gifts of creativity, insight, and leadership at the service of the group. Currently, she serves as a member of the Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates Advisory Board and helped form the Providence Circles for the Associates.

She has been a longtime member of St. William Church, an inner city parish, where she has supported outreach efforts in the local community and in a sister parish in Nicaragua. She has even travelled to Nicaragua and participated in mission work. She is the proud recipient of several awards including the National Stonewall Award through the Anderson Foundation, the Tower Award for Service from the Presentation Academy and being nominated to the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

The Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Award is named for SMWC’s foundress, a role model for today's women. It is in her honor, and in recognition of the value-based educational legacy she established at SMWC, that the National Alumni Association offers the award. Recipients of this award use her gifts to excel at what she does and thus reflect God's love and abundant grace in the world. In addition, recipients possess similar purpose, devotion, community vitality and leadership as exhibited by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

“Maria’s sense of mission, her spirituality and the quality of her presence have touched and transformed the lives of many since her graduation from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College,” stated Lisa Stallings, Sister of Providence. “I believe Mother Theodore would be proud to call her ‘daughter.’”

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