This year’s Bernardin Award winner has been announced:
Pope Francis’ admonition that a shepherd must have the “smell of the sheep” is frequently referenced in the work of pastors and bishops. But for Edith Avila Olea, 22, it applies to any leader in the Church, especially those working on behalf of the poor and vulnerable. Edith, who serves as the Parish Outreach and Board of Young Professionals Coordinator for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, is the 2015 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award winner.
“Catholicism calls us to be anything but silent,” she says. “Fighting for justice for all people isn’t an option for Catholics, it is our mission.”
The Bernardin Award is sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops. It honors a young person who has dedicated him or herself to addressing the root causes of poverty in his or her community.
You can read more about her work here.