'The Simple Grace of Those Moments'

Article excerpt

Byline: Madhu Krishnamurthy mkrishnamurthy@dailyherald.com

Daily Herald columnist Burt Constable received the Spirit of Maryville Award Saturday during Maryville Academy's seventh annual Guardian Medallion Award Gala held at the Marriott in downtown Chicago.

That spirit is about "respecting and nurturing the dignity of each young person who comes to Maryville," Maryville Academy Executive Director Sister Catherine Ryan said.

Ryan said many of the children served by Maryville have been abused, neglected and faced childhood traumas.

"It's important to us to be able to tell their story in a way that respects what they have been through and also listens to and sees their hopes and dreams for the future because our children are so much more than all of the wounds that they have suffered," Ryan said.

Ryan said Constable's stories help shed a light on the challenges these marginalized children face as they fight against all odds to accomplish their dreams and become contributing members of society.

"The way he interacted with our children was so respectful, so low key, listening, hearing what they had to say, and then the stories he told were so insightful and so compassionate," she said.

The Friends of the Maryville Crisis Nursery also was honored with the Guardian Medallion Award Saturday. The gala, which is Maryville Academy's largest fundraiser of the year, benefits the crisis nursery program, located on Chicago's northwest side, which offers emergency care to newborns and children up to 6 years old for families in crisis.

"It is very humbling to be mentioned alongside the Friends of the Maryville Crisis Nursery, who work so hard to keep children safe and support their families," Constable said.

"Under the leadership of Sister Catherine Ryan, Maryville continues to do important work that transforms lives and delivers help to the most vulnerable members of our society. …