More than 6,000 Catholic students from all over the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese in Texas participated in an essay contest on the topic of Blessed Pope John Paull II and how he is relevant for students, the University of St. Thomas in Houston announced.
For the tenth year in a row, the University of St. Thomas and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston held the essay contest for Catholic school students. Students from third through twelfth grades are eligible to participate, with a winner selected from each grade. Winners of the contest at the high school level receive scholarships that can be put toward attending the University of St. Thomas.
This year, students from 50 schools submitted their essays for consideration. Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston celebrated Mass for the contest winners on January 22.
According to the press release:
Wanting to personally congratulate each student for being able to write effectively about these topics, the archbishop gave each winner a wall crucifix blessed by Pope Francis, made in the style of the one on the staff that both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis carried from the Vatican. Students earning honorable mention received a small crucifix in the same style. Both were given to remind the students of Christ, the best of all mentors.
Out of all the essays submitted, schools selected finalists for each grade level, and the essays were read and ranked by 36 UST faculty and staff members and alumni, who chose the winners. The essays of all first place winners were enlarged as posters and put on display at the reception that followed the awards ceremony.
The contest was held just prior to National Catholic Schools Week, a time to focus on the benefits of Catholic education.
University of St. Thomas in Houston is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
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