The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, and Spiritus Sanctus Academy are proud to announce this year's St. Dominic Medal honorees, Jim and Kerri Caviezel, and will be presenting them with the award at the 24th Annual Spiritus Sanctus Academy Benefit Gala on February 15, 2020, at Laurel Manor in Livonia, Michigan.
Kerri Caviezel grew up in the Pacific Northwest in a small community where life was centered around faith and family. Throughout her school years and college, Kerri was an avid basketball player and was part of two state championship teams. She was recently named into Western Washington University's Hall of Fame.
Kerri has always been passionate about education and regards teaching as a mission, not just a job. Her enthusiasm for education and coaching has led Kerri to serve teenagers and young mothers through the Pregnancy Counseling Center, and her pro-life and adoption advocacy work has become her life-long vocation.
Throughout this journey of over twenty years, Kerri has been a national and international speaker, with notable speaking engagements at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, the Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta and North Carolina, various pro-life conferences around the country, as well as appearing on EWTN's "Life on the Rock," promoting a message of faith, hope, love, and the belief that life is the greatest God-given gift of all. After visiting over 30 states and 20 countries, Kerri has been blessed with the opportunity to meet amazing men and women on her journey, including Saint Pope John Paul II, Mother Angelica, Reverend Billy Graham, and Coach John Wooden. Kerri's experiences have left her with an indelible impression that serving others is the most important legacy you can leave the world.
Jim Caviezel grew up in the countryside in Mount Vernon, Washington and was raised in a devout Catholic family and is one of five siblings. Jim's family included many athletes and at a young age, his passion turned to basketball. Jim was a stand-out starter on his high school and college teams, and his basketball coach described him as the, "hardest worker [he] had seen in 30 years." It wasn't until a foot injury curtailed his basketball career that he stumbled upon acting. Jim enrolled himself at the University of Washington, Seattle and earned a degree in drama and performing arts, later attending a professional acting program at the University of Southern California.
Jim's breakthrough feature film role came in 1998 when he was cast in the Oscar-nominated The Thin Red Line. Jim went on to star in many other movies, including Frequency, The Count of Monte Cristo, I Am David, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, Déjà vu, The Stoning of Soraya M., and When the Game Stands Tall among others. Jim has also appeared on the small screen most notably in CBS's critically lauded and award-winning drama, Person of Interest. In 2018, Jim gave a stunning performance as Luke in the film Paul, Apostle of Christ. His upcoming film release, Sound of Freedom, is a true story of a former U.S. government agent who quits his job in order to devote his life to rescuing children from global sex traffickers.
Jim's most notable and challenging role of his career was the part of Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. For the part, Jim had to learn Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin and underwent eight hours of makeup most days of the shoot. There were many other sufferings that went along with the role. Jim endured pneumonia, hypothermia, being accidentally whipped twice during the scourging scene, nearly suffocating while filming on the cross and being struck by lightning.
Jim and Kerri have been married for 23 years and are wonderful parents to their three adopted children, Bo, Lyn, and David. We are blessed to be able to honor both Jim and Kerri for their accomplishments and for their ongoing commitment to faith, family, and service.