Mike McGough Award

In July 1985, our friend, Father J. Michael McGough, died of leukemia. Mike was a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, one of the first members of the Team for Justice and a part of this Convocation from its beginnings in 1980.

Mike McGough had a passion for justice. He volunteered time with the Team for Justice for nearly 15 years, visiting prisoners and working tirelessly with hundreds of indigent defendants. From 1980 on, Mike’s great concern was the death penalty.

Mike was a trusted and wise advisor, a calming voice through many storms. There was a simplicity and directness about Mike that cut through the confusion and tension like a razor. Mike was an adventurer and had quite a sense of humor.

In 1986, a year after Mike’s untimely death, the Convocation decided to initiate the annual Mike McGough Award. This award was to be given to a person who, in the mind of the selection committee, embodied something of the spirit of this man, which we also believe to be the spirit of the Convocation:

–that the recipient has demonstrated a long-standing, faithful and steadfast commitment to jail/prison ministry;
–that the recipient has exercised this ministry in keeping with the identifying characteristics of the National Convocation of Jail and Prison Ministry;
–that the recipient has ministered in unassuming service, in compassion, and with an all pervasive dedication to the human dignity of the incarcerated;
–and finally, that the recipient has embodied both a serious passion for justice as well as a light-hearted spirit of genuine goodness.