Memphis—The Most Reverend Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, received the Bishop Carroll T. Dozier Award for Peace and Justice on Thursday, October 4 in the University Theater at Christian Brothers University.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi was honored for his extraordinary life of service to the Church as a Vatican diplomat throughout the world, promoting social equality and religious freedom for all. From his beginning in the Diplomatic Corps of the Holy See as Attaché until his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Sambi has safeguarded the freedom of religion for all persons.
Throughout his service as a Vatican diplomat, Sambi’s passion for Catholic education and priestly formation has been unwavering. Despite serving abroad for many years, he maintained contact with Catholic universities in Northern Italy, and as Apostolic Delegate to Palestine. As Chancellor of Bethlehem University in the Holy Land, he contributed to the strengthening of its Catholic identity and expanding the University’s ties with other Catholic universities abroad.
Sambi’s continual advocacy for education began with his father and brother being school teachers who recognized the unique qualities of mind and heart that teachers bring to their work. He has referred to teachers as “the greatest artists in the world because they sculpt the best of what you are, not in a piece of marble but in human beings who are the glory of God.” Through his example, others have been inspired and encouraged to mold human beings into compassionate children of God.
As Nuncio, Sambi involved himself in priestly formation in all of the countries he served. Beginning with his responsibilities for the formation of priests at the Diocesan Seminary of Pennabilli and continuing throughout his diplomatic appointments as Nuncio.
The Dozier Award for Peace and Justice is named for Bishop Carroll T. Dozier, the first Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis and a leader in race relations, peace and justice. Bishop Dozier served as Bishop of Memphis from 1971 to 1982. ###