WASHINGTON (November 9, 2007)–David Golemboski, 22, a student leader in the social justice community of Louisville, Kentucky, is the 2007 recipient of the annual Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award. The award honors Catholics ages 18-30, who demonstrate leadership in fighting poverty and injustice in the United States through community-based solutions. It was established in 1998 by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), a national program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). CCHD will present David with the award on Monday, November 12, in Baltimore, during the USCCB's annual meeting.
CCHD Interim Executive Director John Carr praised the choice.
"David has used his considerable gifts to bring diverse communities together in Louisville. His ability to express his Catholic faith through leadership and action inspires us at CCHD and I congratulate David and his supportive family as he receives the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award," Carr said.
Golemboski is in his first year at Harvard Divinity School, pursuing a master's degree in religion, ethics and politics and is a Thomas Merton scholar. In his last two years as an undergraduate at the University of Louisville, he was the associate director of CrossRoads Ministry, a group he had earlier served as a volunteer. CrossRoads is an inner-city retreat center that engages high school and college-aged youths in peacemaking through urban experiences.
"CrossRoads brings young people from the suburbs to a part of the city they might not visit and encourages a transformation of vision and lifestyle by encountering people who live so close geographically, but lead such different lives," Golemboski said.
CrossRoads is a ministry of St. William Church and has been supported by the Church of the Epiphany, both Louisville parishes. Golemboski was nominated for the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award by the pastoral leadership of both parishes.
Father John Burke, pastor of St. William's, said "David has left an indelible mark on the lives of many high school teens and their families as well as on the inner city community of St. William's. He is a young man of deep spiritual insight, uncommon dedication and compassion."
Father Jeff Nicolas, pastor of Epiphany, added that "David has demonstrated his leadership among his peers and to the community at large. He is articulate, thoughtful and effective in communicating about complex and potentially polarizing issues."
Golemboski is active in several other service programs in Louisville, among them, JusticeWalking, a youth and young adult program of JustFaith Ministries, a national parish education program based in Louisville, and Louisville Fellowship of Reconciliation, an umbrella group for faith-based peacemaking that includes a program for conflict resolution training in Louisville schools.
The award honors the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, former archbishop of Chicago and a leading voice on behalf of poor and low-income people, who understood the need to build bridges across ethnic, economic, class and age barriers.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is one of the nation's largest supporters of self-help, community-based programs initiated and led by the poor. Funded by an annual collection in Catholic parishes across the country, CCHD has distributed more than $300 million to more than 7,800 self-help projects over its 37 years. This year, CCHD announced more than $9.5 million in grants to support 314 local projects, selected without regard to religious affiliation, in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Editors: For more information about CCHD, visit . For more information about the Bernardin Award, contact Jill Rauh at 202-541-3297.