Louisville native Cory Lockhart received the Angeline Award from the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville during a liturgy at the Ursuline Motherhouse Chapel in Louisville, KY, on October 22. Friends, family and the Ursuline community filled the church to celebrate this peace activist and her years of outreach across the globe.
“Cory is here because she lives the same values that Saint Angela, our foundress, lived those many years ago: a peacemaker, a witness to Christian values, a woman open to the needs of her times, a woman of the Church,” said President Sister Janet Marie Peterworth.
Lockhart, a 1991 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, describes herself as an aspiring peacemaker. It all began when she joined a delegation from Epiphany Parish to El Salvador in 1992. That mission trip moved her to make a life commitment for social justice, with her primary focus today being nonviolent peace activism.
“Over 20 years ago, my Salvadoran and Guatemalan friends opened my eyes to realities I hadn’t seen before,” Lockhart told those gathered at the Motherhouse Chapel. “They were the first ones to show me what deeply-lived faith and hope look like in the face of devastation and violence.”
Lockhart spent three months in El Salvador and later joined a Witness for Peace delegation to Nicaragua; and another to Guatemala, where she later spent a year as an administrator for a language school for non-native speakers studying Spanish. In 2011, she taught English with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in India. Two years later, in 2013, she joined Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). With CPT, Lockhart has acted as a human rights defender, living with other CPTers for several weeks or months in places where the dehumanization of people by other people is evident. This outreach has taken Lockhart to Iraqi Kurdistan; Hebron, Palestine; and, most recently, she returned from Israel/Palestine, where she served for the first time as a co-leader of a CPT delegation.
Homilist Sister Ruth Ann Haunz said Angela Merici found her way and followed Jesus’ actions, and so did Lockhart. “Cory Lockhart found her way in seeking justice, peaceful presence, contemplation, and non-violent action,” she said. “Pope Francis tells us to give some of our God-given breath to the poor. He does not tell us how to do it, just to do it.”
Lockhart was also a teacher, first at Walden School, and then at Trinity High School and St. Xavier High School in Louisville, KY. She served as retreat leader and led young men on service trips to Belize, Mississippi and Appalachia. In addition, she guided groups of high school and college students, as well as adults, to Guatemala after months of raising money to cover the costs for each of those four trips.
“Through 14 years of classroom teaching, I learned patience and to better meet people where they are, rather than where I think they should be,” Lockhart said. “Through work with Christian Peacemaker Teams, the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, and Showing Up for Racial Justice, I continue to learn about solidarity, about amplifying voices that too often are stifled or silenced, about living and promoting nonviolence in myself, in this community, and in our world.”
Cory is not the first Lockhart to be honored with the Angeline Award. Her older sister, Shannon, was the recipient in 2004. Shannon Lockhart, her husband, two sons, and her parents were in attendance for this year’s award presentation, along with four other past Angeline Award recipients: Margo Thompson Borders (1996), Maria Scharfenberger (1998), Mary Ann Kopp Hubbs (2008), and Carolyn Elizabeth Neely (2014).
“Receiving this award is encouragement to keep walking, even when it’s difficult, and a reminder that I am not – none of us are – walking alone, and we’re not meant to,” said Lockhart.
Lockhart holds a B.A. degree in Linguistics with a minor in Latin American Studies from Northwestern University, a Masters in Teaching from Bellarmine University, and graduated in 2009 with a M.A. in Spirituality from the joint program of Bellarmine University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She lives in Louisville, KY, where she is on the staff of JustFaith Ministries, a national organization, based in Louisville, that offers programs and resources for building a more just and peaceful world. Click here to follow Cory Lockhart’s blog.
To see photos from the event, click here.