WASHINGTON (April 3, 1998) -- The Campaign for Human Development (CHD), the Catholic Church's domestic anti-poverty program, has established a new national award named in honor of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin to recognize young Catholic leaders who demonstrate a commitment to putting the Church's social teaching into action.
The Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award will be given annually to a Catholic young adult who demonstrates outstanding leadership skills and experience in parish social work or in a CHD-funded community group, who shows potential for continuing leadership in these areas, and who demonstrates a commitment to the CHD values of participation, option for the poor, and solidarity-building. Candidates must be between the ages of 18-30.
"Young people bring new leadership, energy and diverse skills to the anti-poverty work of Catholic parishes and low-income projects," said Father Robert Vitillo, CHD Executive Director, who announced the young adult award. "This Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award will highlight the gifts of young leaders and their commitment to the Gospel call for solidarity with the poor."
A young person may be nominated for the award by a pastor, a local CHD director, a CHD-funded project, or a colleague. The person making the nomination should submit a one-page description of the work the nominee has done, giving specific examples of activities that exemplify the person's leadership against poverty and injustice. Nominations are due in the CHD National Office no later than June 30.
The 1998 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership award winner will be announced in the fall and the recipient will receive a trip to Washington to accept the award.
"In naming our new leadership award program in memory of Cardinal Bernardin we are recognizing his role in nurturing the vision of the Campaign for Human Development and helping to shepherd it through its first years," explained Father Vitillo.
The Campaign for Human Development, founded by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1970, is the nation's largest private funder of projects that empower the poor and work to eliminate poverty and injustice. In the last 28 years, the Campaign has distributed nearly $250 million in grants to more than 3,000 self-help projects nationwide. Grants are awarded based on need, not religious affiliation.
The Campaign's on-going grant-making and justice education programs are supported through an annual collection in Catholic parishes throughout the country, usually taken up on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
For further information about the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, or to receive an announcement and nomination form, contact the Campaign for Human Development, 3211 Fourth St., N.E., Washington, D.C., 20017. Fax (202) 541-3329. Phone: Alexia Kelley (202) 541-3375 or Bill Purcell (202) 541-3372.
For further information about CHD, visit the website: www.nccbuscc.org/chd.