2019 Kinship Award

Our 2019 Kinship Award Recepients are Mike Donovan and Sara Nuñez 

Mike Donovan and Sara Nuñez, two dedicated volunteer chaplains reaching out to and accompanying young people in prison, are the recipients of the 2019 Kinship Award from the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR).  For 15 years, Mike Donovan has volunteered for Kolbe House as a chaplain at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. Kolbe House is the Catholic jail ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He has also been a leader with PBMR for 14 years. Donovan is a former executive who retired from a distinguished 30-year career with the Internal Revenue Service in New York. Since moving to Chicago, he has dedicated himself to reaching out to young people lost in the criminal justice system. He started by answering a call to “visit the imprisoned.” When those he met at the juvenile detention center went on to lengthy sentences in adult prisons hours away from Chicago, he remained determined to keep the connections. “Most of them get no other visitors,” Donovan says, and I am there as a ministry of presence, to listen.” At PBMR, Donovan also mentors many young men coming home from prison, helping with mentoring, job placement and other re-entry resources. Over the years, he has even opened his home to many. Sara Nuñez has also served for more than 12 years as a volunteer chaplain at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. At PBMR, she and Precious Blood Sister Donna Liette launched an outreach to mothers who have lost children to violence as well as those who have lost children to incarceration. Their peace circle program has attracted national attention for its unique approach to healing and reconciliation. Nuñez, a retired nurse, has continued to accompany the mothers’ circle. As a mother and grandmother, she says, “I see the suffering in their eyes that comes from their broken hearts. I also see that the pain and suffering is lifted a little when one mom realizes that there are others like her and together they can reach out and hold each other up, in spirit, thoughts and prayer.”

See our past years award recepients