Cedric Prakash, born on 3 November 1951, is a Catholic priest and a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) of Gujarat in India. He is currently based in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujrat in Western India. He is well known for his work on human rights, reconciliation and peace activism, with a focus on advocacy. He is also a prolific writer on subjects related to social justice, peace, communal harmony, environment, contextual spirituality, and the Constitution of India. His articles are regularly published in newspapers, magazines and journals in India and abroad. He is also a visiting faculty in some colleges, universities, and seminaries in India, Europe and the USA.
Prakash was born on 3rd November 1951, to Cynthia Lobo and Conrad Lobo in Mumbai, India. He was the youngest of four children. His father was an Engineer in a sister company of Siemens and his mother was a teacher at St. Joseph’s Convent, Umerkhadi, Mumbai. Prakash received his early education from Antonio D'souza High School (ANZA), Mumbai and completed his B.A. (Hons.) from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai in 1972.
Activism and Organizational Leadership
Fr. Prakash founded ‘Prashant’, an Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace and was the Director of this Centre till January 2016. For three years (2016-2018), Fr. Prakash was based in Beirut, Lebanon in the Regional Office of the Jesuit Refugee Service (Middle East and North Africa Region) as the Regional Advocacy and Communications Officer/Advisor, working with refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon. In collaboration with St Joseph’s University, Beirut he headed and in September 2018 completed a path-breaking research study, ‘Journeying Together’, on the situation of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
In 1996, Fr. Prakash was awarded The Anubhai Chimanlal Nagarika Puraskar by the Mayor of Ahmedabad for his contribution to the city of Ahmedabad, India. He was also conferred the Kabir Puraskar by the President of India for his work in the promotion of Communal Harmony and Peace in 1995 .In 2006, he was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, one of the highest French civilian awards, acknowledging his commitment to the defense and the promotion of human rights in India. Fr. Prakash has also been awarded the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award presented for Humanitarian Work by the Indian Muslim Council, USA in 2003. He also received the Fr. Parmananda Divarkar Award for Communication for Peace in January 2004 for promoting dialogue for peace and inter-community harmony. In 2006, he received the Minorities Rights Award by the National Commission for Minorities of the Government of India. The Marquette University in Wisconsin, USA honored him as the Wade Chair Scholar for the academic year 2009 – 2010. Fr. Prakash was one of the recipients of Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice in 2013. On the 1st of December 2021, Fr. Prakash was conferred the Fr. Louis Careno Award by the Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) in Mumbai for his courageous contribution to journalism and bold writings on socio-cultural and political issues, especially relating to communalism and fundamentalism.
In October 2018, the Loyola Press Chicago published a brilliant coffee-table-style book ‘Sharing the Wisdom of Time’ by Pope Francis and Friends. One of Fr. Prakash’s real-life stories is featured in it. Pope Francis has written a warm personal response in the book to Fr. Prakash’s testimony.
- Mangalorean, Team (1 July 2004). "Rev. Fr. Cedric Prakash - Mangalorean Star".
- "Relentless Modi critic, Fr Cedric moves to Beirut | Ahmedabad News - Times of India". The Times of India.
- "Journeying Together: Syrian refugees living in Lebanon". Matters India. 1 October 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
- "Father Cedric to work for Syrian refugees, to move to Beirut". 21 January 2016.
- "Top French honour for Fr. Cedric Prakash". The Hindu. 2 June 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 1 March 2007.
- "Gujarat priest wins top French award". Hindustan Times. 19 May 2006. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
- Simon Parmar. "Minorities Rights Award 2006 for Fr. Cedric Prakash". SecularIndia.com good man. Archived from the original on 20 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- "Gratitude is an Attitude: Teachings from Cedric Prakash, S.J., a Human Rights Defender from India – Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog". Retrieved 8 December 2021.
- "Harmony Foundation to host Mother Teresa awards on Nov 9". dna. Diligent Media Corporation Ltd. 8 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- "Mother Teresa Awards given to promoters of social justice". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
- Kavi, Jose (8 November 2021). "Jesuit activist-writer wins prestigious journalism award". Matters India. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- Pope Francis & Friends (2018). SHARING THE WISDOM OF TIME. USA: Loyola Press Chicago. ISBN 978-0-8294-4622-7.