Annual youth pro-life essay contest expands to include artwork
By Nissa LaPoint
Pro-life Essay and Artwork Contest
Who: All students in grades 9-12 and grades 6-8
CNS photo/Greg Tarczynski
Some Christians may not realize that Jesus was on earth before Christmas.
Christ actually became man the moment the Holy Spirit conceived in Mary’s womb, said Lynn Grandon, director of the Denver Archdiocese’s Respect Life Office.
This moment is recognized each year on the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord—this year on March 26.
“We need to bring more awareness and focus on the event of the Annunciation, because of how special it is and how it did change human history,” Grandon said.
Informing others about this moment in history and fostering pro-life views is the purpose of the annual Respect Life essay contest organized for students in the archdiocese.
Grandon will continue the tradition of the contest this year and offer students another way to express their pro-life convictions—compete in an artwork contest.
“Some children are very artistically gifted,” she said. “We want to encourage that gift by hopefully having them do a re-creation of what the Annunciation looks like to them.”
All middle school and high school students in the diocese are eligible to write a minimum 800-word pro-life essay on the issue of their choice or paint or draw a representation of the Annunciation. Essays received by March 15 will be judged on persuasiveness, accuracy and creativity.
The selected first, second and third place winners will receive awards from Bishop James Conley, apostolic administrator of the archdiocese, at the end of the 12:30 p.m. Mass March 25 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in honor of the Annunciation feast. First prize essay winners will read their submissions to the congregation after Mass and winning artwork submissions will be displayed inside the church.
Grandon said until students delve into the respect life spectrum of issues, they will not understand them or be able to properly dialogue about and defend their faith.
“So when you ask them to research it and when you dialogue with them in classroom settings or retreat settings, as I have, then the issues come alive for them,” she said. “Then they use what they’ve learned to defend the culture of life.”
This contest is designed to do exactly that, she said.
The contest submissions will be judged by Grandon’s hand-picked committee and essays may be posted on the archdiocesan website (www.archden.org).
Some student’s essays are gripping and reveal the transformation of their thoughts about pro-life issues, she said.
“The children that really take this seriously, they just pour their hearts into these essays,” Grandon said about the often dramatic compositions.
All students who enter the contest are encouraged to attend Mass March 25 at the cathedral at 1530 Logan St. in Denver.