Fil-Ams named Emerging Leader for Justice Awardees in New York City

Michael Libunao-Macalintal Justice Awardees
Michael Libunao-Macalintal and Teresa Marie Cariño Petersen are the recipients of the 2023 Moira Erin O’Donnell Emerging Leader for Justice Award. Ignatian Solidarity Network photo.

Filipino-Americans Michael Libunao-Macalintal and Teresa Marie Cariño Petersen are the recipients of the 2023 Moira Erin O’Donnell Emerging Leader for Justice Award given by the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) to young adults who have demonstrated significant social justice leadership in their communities.

The two graduates of Jesuit universities in the United States – Michael Libunao-Macalintal (Fordham University Class of 2015) and Teresa Marie Cariño Petersen (University of San Francisco Class of 2013) were announced on February 16, 2023, as the honorees of the annual award named after Moira Erin O’Donnell, the former ISN executive director who passed at the age of 33.

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Michael Libunao-Macalintal and Teresa Cariño Petersen will be honored at “Ignite: A Celebration of Justice”, to be held in New York City on May 10, 2023.

The ISN announcement presented the profiles of the new O’Donnell honorees.

Michael Libunao-Macalintal
Theologian, lay minister, and preacher

Michael Libunao-Macalintal is the oldest of three children born to Filipino parents, and a proud New Jersey native.

He is currently the liturgical minister of Marquand Chapel at Yale Divinity School. Throughout his career, Libunao-Macalintal helped form students to be storytellers, prophets, and leaders.

He worked as a high school youth minister for St. Mary’s Parish, a Franciscan-led community in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey before pursuing graduate studies at Yale Divinity School where he graduated with a Master of Divinity in 2020, and moved to Washington, D.C., to work in campus ministry with Gonzaga College High School.

“He continues to put his passion for equity and justice in the ecumenical liturgies he develops with students, faculty, and staff alike, casting new visions of belonging, building new and creative ways of worship, telling new and re-telling forgotten stories, all with the hopes of bringing forth the beloved community we are called to create with one another,” states the ISN profile for Michael Libunao-Macalintal.

Teresa Cariño Petersen
Educator and activist

Teresa Marie Cariño Petersen studied theology and religious studies with a double minor in Catholic thought and social teaching and Philippine studies at the University of San Francisco, then studied in the Philippines with the Casa Bayanihan program, and now lives and works in the Bay Area.

Her work can be found on ISN’s Rise Up series, National Catholic Reporter, and Catholic Women Preach. Some recordings of her preaching can be found at St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco. One of her homilies will be featured in the upcoming publication of Catholic Women Preach: Raising Voices, Renewing the Church: Cycle B from Orbis Books. She also serves on the board of directors for the National Catholic Reporter.

Her work focuses on ethics, spirituality, and embodiment with a special concentration on racial justice. Her graduate work at the Jesuit School of Theology culminated in her capstone thesis, “Embodied Spiritual Repair: The Case for Somatic Discernment in the Work of Justice,” which pioneered a burgeoning practice of somatic discernment. She has since presented her work at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice and for individuals and small groups.

Fil-Ams who have received recognition for their leadership include rapper-scientist Ruby Ibarra who won the 2022 Vilcek Prize for immigrant leaders, teacher Eleuterio Timbol who won the Empire State New York Governor’s award, and Peace Corps volunteer Ambet Yangco, the first Filipino JFK Service Awardee.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipino-Americans Michael Libunao-Macalintal and Teresa Marie Cariño Petersen, recipients of the 2023 Moira Erin O’Donnell Emerging Leader for Justice Award!

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