South Jersey Parish Chooses Ugliest House

HNP Communications Around the Province

CAMDEN, N.J. — St. Anthony of Padua Church here will announce the “winner” of its Ugliest House Contest Aug. 27 at a public award ceremony in partnership with Cramer Hill/Camden Churches Organized for People (CCOP).

The contest, aimed to draw attention to the problem of old, abandoned houses in the community, has received much media attention over the past month.

uglyhousesJud Weiksnar, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden and clergy leader of CCOP, said in a press release, “By voting for the ugliest house, we want to draw attention to the fact that many of these houses have become part of the landscape in Cramer Hill. Some have been here for weeks, but neighbors tell us one of them has been burned out for 22 years.

“While this contest is done with tongue in cheek,” he added, “we are inviting people on the ballots to become involved in the established processes to address the problem legitimately through CCOP and other organizations.”

Jud told HNP’s Communications Office plans for tomorrow’s award ceremony include a procession to the ugliest house with a cake made in its likeness, which attendees will “demolish” with spoon-sized shovels. 

“St. Anthony of Padua Church deserves praise for its interesting method of bringing attention to the problem,” according to a story titled “Credit Camden church for ugly house contest” in the Aug. 3 Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, N.J., posted online. 

The Ugliest House Contest has also been featured in USA Today, New Jersey’s Star-Ledger, The Philadelphia Inquirer, local news on Fox and ABC, as well as several radio station Web sites. Gerald Hudson, OFM, was among those quotes in the news stories.