We are the most effective way to get your press release into the hands of reporters and news producers. Check out our client list.

Maryknoll Magazine Announces 2013 Student Essay Winners; Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Texas Students Focus on 'The Pope, The Poor And You'

Contact: Mike Virgintino, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, 914-941-7636 ext 2219

MARYKNOLL, N.Y., March 11, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Six middle and high school students representing Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Ohio and Texas have received cash awards for their winning submissions in "Maryknoll" magazine's 25th annual Maryknoll Student Essay Contest. "Maryknoll" magazine is published by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

The 2013 theme of "The Pope, The Poor AND YOU" asked students to consider the call of Pope Francis to follow Jesus in serving the poor and then to explain how they see this occurring, or not occurring, in daily life.

The contest received an overwhelming 11,834 essays, a record number of responses from students who competed in two divisions (grades six to eight and grades nine to 12) for nearly $3,000 in cash prizes. The awards included $1,000 for each of the two first-place finalists, $300 for each of the two-second place finalists and $150 to each of the two third-place award recipients.

For grades six to eight, 8,973 submissions were received. For grades nine to 12, the number of essays totaled 2,861. Students described service for the poor as ranging from far-reaching and ambitious projects to small acts of daily kindness in which they are involved or have witnessed.

The panel of 90 judges comprised of Maryknoll missioners was astounded by the examples of serving the poor that appeared in the essays.

"We were deeply impressed by the efforts of our youth, their teachers, their families and their communities to help people in need," said Maryknoll's Sister Mary Ellen Manz, who helped coordinate the judging.

Maryknoll's Father Ernest Brunelle echoed the sentiments of all judges when he summed up the feelings about all the young essayists. "I think all of you are winners," he said, "because through this exercise you have begun to see where God is leading you in your journey of faith."

The essays written by the first place winners in each category will be published in the May/June 2014 issue of "Maryknoll" magazine. All winning essays will be published online at www.maryknollsociety.org/winners.

The 2013 Maryknoll Student Essay Contest Awards will be presented to:

Division I (grades six to eight)

First Place ($1,000): The Bishop Francis X. Ford Award is named in honor of the Maryknoll priest who died in a prison in China during 1952.

  • Oliver Costantino (eighth grade), Palmer Catholic Academy, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Teacher: Mrs. Donna Pisacano

Second Place ($300)

  • Carl Riley Francis Marget (seventh grade), Most Holy Trinity Catholic School, Phoenix, Arizona. Teacher: Ms. Paula Watkins

Third Place ($150)

  • Julia Wall (eighth grade), St. Mark School, Catonsville, Maryland. Teacher: Mrs. Terry Ferro

Division II (grades nine to 12)

First Place ($1,000): The Bishop Patrick J. Byrne Award is named for the Maryknoll missioner who died on a forced march in Korea during 1950.

  • Megan Fenner (12th grade), Magnificat High School, Rocky River, Ohio. Teacher: Mrs. Mary Therese Dwyer-Kueller

Second Place ($300)

  • Kristan Bowers (ninth grade), Calvert High School, Tiffin, Ohio. Teacher: Mrs. Patty Hayes

Third Place ($150)

  • James Matl (12th grade), Incarnate Word Academy, Corpus Christi, Texas. Teacher: Sister Raquel Newman, IWBS

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers follow Jesus in serving the poor and others in need in 27 countries that include the U.S. All Catholics are called to mission through baptism and confirmation, and Maryknoll's mission education outreach in parishes and schools throughout the country engages U.S. Catholics in mission through vocations, prayer, donations and as volunteers. Maryknoll missioners share God's love and the Gospel in combating poverty, providing healthcare, building communities and promoting human rights. For more information, visit the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers at maryknollsociety.org.

Follow the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers on Twitter (
twitter.com/MaryknollNews) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/maryknollsociety).