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  • Sep
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Local student wins national prize for artwork on poverty

Posted By September 22, 2011 | 12:50 pm | Lead Story #1, Local
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By Tanya Connor

A Worcester Catholic is among winners of a national art contest which aims to help youth learn about poverty.
Julianne Foisy, of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Worcester, won second prize for grades 10-12 in the 2011 multimedia art contest sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. She was a senior at St. Peter-Marian Central Catholic High School at the time.
“This is the first year we’ve had a winner nationally,” in the two years  since the diocese restarted its participation in the contest, said Msgr. Francis J. Scollen, CCHD diocesan director and pastor of St. Peter Parish in Worcester.
“We’re just thrilled to have a local winner on the national level, who was able to demonstrate, through her art, the message,” said Delma L. Josephson, diocesan superintendent of schools. The Catholic Schools Office helped Msgr. Scollen with the local contest, from which entries were selected to send to the national contest.
“We have so many talented young people who understand the mission and can get that message out,” Superintendent Josephson said.
The mission of the art contest is tied to the overall mission of CCHD.
“The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, or CCHD, is the domestic anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” says the website nccbuscc.org/cchd. “Since 1970, CCHD has worked to encourage 1) empowerment and participation of poor and low-income persons to address the causes of poverty, and 2) education and involvement of Catholics in the U.S. in this effort.”
CCHD developed the multimedia youth arts contest in 2001 to engage students in learning about poverty and efforts to address it, especially through CCHD. The contest is open to students in grades 7-12 in Catholic parishes and schools and all art forms are welcome.
Each year in November the CCHD collection is taken throughout the United States. Msgr. Scollen said 75 percent of the money collected provides grants to projects the national CCHD office chooses, which in the last two or three years have included three projects in Worcester County. Each diocese choses how to divide the remaining 25 percent among local applicants, he said.
Msgr. Scollen said he will invite Ms. Foisy to the awards ceremony, where local applicants receive their grants, at 2 p.m. Oct. 11 in St. Peter Parish’s gym.
He said Ms. Foisy will receive from the national CCHD office $375 and a matching $375 to give to the CCHD-funded project of her choice, and can announce her choice at the Oct. 11 ceremony. This is also a time for Bishop McManus to recognize her, he said.
Ms. Foisy was already recognized by Bishop McManus as a local winner of the art contest. She was one of six winners from among 68 students who submitted entries. She placed first in the visual arts category for grades 10-12.
She and the other local winners received certificates and small monetary awards from Bishop McManus at the Chancery last March, Msgr. Scollen said. Their entries were then submitted to the national contest.
Ms. Foisy said she first heard of the contest in the last academic year, when she was a senior at St. Peter-Marian. Her art teacher, Mary Dewey, invited students to participate, she said.
“I just saw some wire in the art room,” and twisted it to represent a person holding someone else’s heart, said Ms. Foisy.
“It’s our social responsibility to take care of each other,” she said, explaining the message of her “Heart in Hands” wire figure on a red paper background.
If it wasn’t for Ms. Dewey, she probably would never have entered the contest, said Ms. Foisy, who is now a freshman at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.
An eighth-grade student at St. Aloysius School in Spokane, Wash., won the grand prize in the national art contest.
Dang Phung, a Vietnamese immigrant, won with the illustration “Reflections of Jesus,” which shows young people helping Jesus carry his cross, sharing the loaves and fishes and rescuing a sheep.
“All of us have to unite and support one another in order to advance a better future, a better society,” he said.
Phung will receive a $500 cash award and a $500 gift in his name to a CCHD-funded group of his choice. He will receive this prize at the National Catholic Youth Conference, which takes place in Indianapolis Nov. 17-19.
In addition to Ms. Foisy, the other second-place winner was Kara Hoffman from St. Stephen Catholic School in Riverview, Fla.
Third-place winners were: Revers Bruscoe of St. Mary’s Institute in Amsterdam, N.Y., and Joe Garrett of Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Tenn.
– Catholic News Service contributed to this report.