The Parish School at St. Edward the Confessor participated in the “Respect Life Art and Essay Contest” that concluded with the recognition of the winners in late May.
The goal of the contest was to give learners an opportunity to reflect on the value and sanctity of human life. This year’s topic was “Life is a Gift from God” for lower-grade students. For upper- grade classes the topic was a little deeper: “From Womb to Tomb, Life is a Gift from God.” This was the fourth year that The Parish School has participated in this contest, hosted by the Respect Life Ministry and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.
Teachers were provided with grade-level appropriate quotes from Scripture and the Catechism that pertain to the sanctity and/or dignity of human life. Students from K-8th grade made beautiful drawings that reflected their understanding of the quotes. One winning drawing was chosen from each grade and they received a congratulatory certificate, a prayer card and an ice cream gift card.
The essay contest was open only to 7th and 8th graders. Using the same Bible or Catechism quotes, students wrote about how Scripture or Church documents are the answer to the problems we currently face regarding the value of human life. They were encouraged to use additional resources such as the Encyclicals Evangelium Vitae and Humanae Vitae, Papal addresses, among others.
The winners of the essay contest were 7th grader Keanan Collins and 8th grader Shane Auci. Both received an engraved plaque with their name on it, a prayer card and $100.
Below is an excerpt of the winners’ essays:
“From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (CCC 2270). One of the major problems we currently face today regarding the value of life centers around the question of when life begins. We learn from the above passages that life begins from the very first moment of conception. From that point on, God is completely in control.”
—Keanan Collins, 7th grade winner
“We do not eliminate problems by eliminating those to whom the problems occur, that is the bottom line…When life is no longer pleasurable, and the end of the road seems near, as God’s people we need to strive to be like Christ by offering up our sufferings instead of ending them.”
—Shane Auci, 8th grade winner.
Honorable mentions for the essays were given to 7th graders Emma Lapena and Samantha Cotter, and to 8th graders Matthew Meyer and Lily Redden.