Fr. John Phelps honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

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Fr. John Phelps CSsR, president and CEO of Life Directions.

Life Directions honoured our own Fr. John Phelps with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Spark of Hope Tribute Gala in Detroit on May 11. We are pleased to share the tribute he received from the organization he co-founded more than five decades ago. Congratulations, Fr. John! – shared the news North American Conference of Redemptorists on its Facebook profile.

Fr. John Phelps’ impact on the community, particularly in Detroit, is nothing short of remarkable. His co-founding of Life Directions in 1973 reflects a visionary commitment to addressing the root causes of violence and instability among young adults. By focusing on empowerment and self-direction, Fr. John, a Redemptorist, with Fr. Alex Steinmiller, a Passionist, Sr. Rosalie Esquerra, an Adrian Dominican, and Alex and Judy MacDonald laid the foundation for a transformative approach to youth development. Born from their devotion, Life Directions has remained a voice for those at risk for 51 years!

Throughout his notable career, Fr. John has garnered numerous accolades and honors, each a testament to his unwavering dedication to service and advocacy, including the Humanitarian Award bestowed upon him by Southwestern High School to the Civic Citation Award from the City of Detroit, and a Tribute of Recognition from the State Legislature for his work with Detroit youth. The focus is on his involvement in Detroit Public Schools. To summarize the accomplishments of his leadership would be an impossible task.

Revered for his accomplishments, articles about his work have been published in the Detroit News and Free Press and the Michigan Chronicle. His many media appearances underscore his ability to articulate the pressing concerns facing young people today. Whether speaking on radio programs like “Kelly and Company” or television shows such as WGN-TV and WLS-TV, his insights have resonated with audiences far and wide.

As Life Directions celebrates over five decades of impact, it is clear that Fr. John’s legacy will endure as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come. His tireless advocacy for at-risk youth exemplifies the power of passion and community in affecting positive change.

source: North American Conference of Redemptorists