The award is given by the Instituto Hispano of the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, bearing the name of Father Allen Deck, SJ, the institute’s founder. Bishop Barnes was presented with the award during a Mass at the University on July 19.
In the citation read by Father Rob McChesney, SJ, and Father Eduardo Fernandez, SJ, Bishop Barnes is praised for his approach to teaching and promoting diversity within the Church. “…he insisted that ministry with and among Latinos and Latinas must not exclude other racial and ethnic groups. This exclusion only perpetuates the sin of racism committed against earlier communities,” the citation reads.
The two Jesuit priests also noted that, in the area of lay formation, Bishop Barnes has sent the most number of participants among California dioceses to the Instituto Hispano, a summer formation program in Christian theology that was founded by Fr. Deck in 1988. They also highlighted Bishop Barnes special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. “He embodies her prophetic message of being a defender of marginalized persons.”