The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has named Kyrstin Weiler of the Diocese of Belleville as the national winner of the 2019-2020 Creating on the Margins contest. Kyrstin’s three-dimensional art piece entitled “Trapped Under a Broken Roof” and her accompanying essay highlighted the systemic realities of poverty in the U.S. and the impact of CCHD-supported organizations who empower communities to address its root causes.
This year’s theme, “More Than a Roof,” focused on homelessness and access to affordable housing. As the winner of the national contest, Kyrstin will receive a $500 cash award and a $500 gift to be designated in her name to a CCHD-funded organization of her choice. Kyrstin’s artwork was created as an assignment in her eighth-grade class at St. Joseph Catholic School and submitted to the national contest by the Diocese of Belleville. “The Church teaches us that each and every person should have the opportunity to go home to a safe place that fills us with a sense of comfort at the end of the day,” Kyrstin reflected on her artwork.
Bishop David G. O’Connell, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development said, “The Creating on the Margins contest is a great example of how to engage young people in the social mission of the Church. The transformative education central to this contest invites a new generation of Catholics to understand the power of CCHD, especially as we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year.”
“Kyrstin’s artwork captures the complex realities facing many in our communities who struggle to find access to safe, affordable housing and her written reflections emphasize the important role of CCHD-funded organizations in addressing the realities of poverty,” said Ralph McCloud, director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
The annual Creating on the Margins contest is organized by CCHD and co-sponsored by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM). It is a tool for schools and parishes to engage Catholics in grades 7-12 in learning about the root causes of poverty and the Church’s response.
The contest theme for 2020-2021 is “Rebuilding Together at the Margins” and was chosen to highlight the social and economic disparities revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can build just structures that allow all communities to thrive. More information and contest materials can be found at www.usccb.org/youthcontest.