Pro-life essay contest underway

With the teachings of St. Pope John Paul II as their guide, students in seventh through 11th grades are invited in this year’s Pro-life Student Essay Contest to share their reflections on freedom and human dignity as related to the right to life.
The annual contest, sponsored by the archdiocese’s Center for Family Life Formation, is accepting submissions through March 25, said Whitney Bradley, coordinator of the office’s Respect Life Apostolate.
“This is an opportunity for students to learn about pro-life and human dignity issues,” she said, “and will benefit them when the day comes that someone asks their opinions about these topics, and they will know what they believe and why.”
This year, for the first time, the contest includes two age categories, with separate topics for each.
Seventh- and eighth-graders will write about how to show God’s love to all, including vulnerable or dependent people such as the unborn, expectant mothers afraid to choose life and the very elderly, in light of St. John Paul II’s teaching that God makes no distinction between them, because all reflect the face of his Son.
For high schoolers – freshman through junior year – the topic is whether the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which gives mothers the right to abort their children, makes the country more or less free, given the late pope’s teaching that “… freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
Essays should be 300 to 400 words and must be typewritten. They will be judged based on the student’s understanding of the subject matter as well as clarity, persuasiveness, creativity, originality, grammar, spelling and organization.
The first place winner in each age category will receive a $40 prize and an award certificate, have the essay published on the  Catholic Voice website and be entered in the Knights of Columbus statewide contest, to be judged separately and awarded in the fall.
Second place winners will receive $30 and an award certificate, and third place winners will take home a $20 prize and award certificate.
Contact Bradley for contest details and submission forms at
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