Dr. Tom Catena Wins Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity

In May, the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity was awarded to Dr. Tom Catena, an internationally recognized humanitarian and Catholic missionary. Catena was honored for his courageous work as the first and only permanent medical doctor serving 750,000 people in Sudan’s war-torn, Nuba Mountains since 2008.

Tom in the surgery


As a doctor in Sudan, let me tell you: foreign aid saves lives.

“Dr. Tom,” as he is known in Sudan, has relied on the assistance of many organizations to support his critical work. As the 2017 Aurora Laureate, Dr. Tom designated three key partners to share the $1 million prize:

All three organizations are long-time supporters of Dr. Tom and the 300-bed Mother of Mercy Hospital. Through donations of pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and with financial, material, and other logistical assistance, these three organizations work toward a common mission and shared goal—to enable Dr. Tom’s life-saving work in Sudan.

Aktion Canchanabury logo for the Dr. Tom Catena Partnership report piece

African Mission Health Foundation LogoBruce Wilkinson speaks about Tom Catena and the Aurora Prize


Putting the Prize into Action

CMMB plans to fund three initiatives with its share of the Aurora Prize:

  • Provide the Mother of Mercy Hospital with a year’s supply of essential medicine and medical supplies to support Dr. Tom’s life-saving work.
  • Establish the Aurora Fellowship program, to support the placement of medical volunteers in high-risk conflict zones.
  • To construct a high-quality operating theater and blood bank at Saint Theresa’s Hospital in Nzara, South Sudan.

On being named the 2017 Aurora Prize Laureate, Dr. Catena said, “We all have an obligation to look after our brothers and sisters. It is possible that every single person can make a contribution, and to recognize that shared humanity can lead to a brighter future. With my faith as my guide, I am honored to continue to serve the world and make it a better place.”

The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity was founded in 2015 on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative seeks to empower modern-day saviors to offer life and hope to those in urgent need of humanitarian aid and to continue the cycle of giving internationally.

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