Father Gabriel Mejia, a Catholic priest who has founded 52 shelters for homeless children and youthful offenders in Colombia, received an honorary doctorate degree of world peace at the 2009 Maharishi University of Management commencement ceremony.

Through his Fundacion Hogares Claret, Father Gabriel provides sanctuary for displaced street children, taking in anyone who needs help. Father Gabriel has found that any impetus for rehabilitation must come from the children themselves.

“Love is the most essential medicine for any illness or disorder,” said Father Gabriel. “That’s why we must insist on globalizing love.”

Many of the children take advantage of the rehabilitation programs offered by the shelters and decide to permanently live there as a family with other children and mentors. With the help of the David Lynch Foundation, over 3,600 children have learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique.

Father Gabriel’s work has been widely recognized, including an award from the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities, and from the Queen of Spain for his humanitarian work. He has served as president of the Latin American Federation of Therapeutic Communities

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