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Sixth Grade Essay Contest

photo of John Coakley, moderator of the Essay ContestOn April 11th, 2018, following the Prayer for Vocations, four young scholars lighted our way to future vocations for the priesthood and religious life. These sixth
Graders, from twenty participating Archdiocesan Schools, delivered inspiring and thought-provoking messages on the topic: “Why Are priests, Sisters, Deacons, and Brothers Necessary for the mission of the Catholic Church?” Sydney Nguyen, Girls First Place winner from Holy Spirit, Noah Stanton, Boys First Place winner from Ascension, Katie Price, Girls Second Place from Good Shepherd, and Logan Cook, Boys Second Place from Nativity, brought their motivating essays to the Serra Club awards luncheon.

The students recognized holy vocations and leadership themes such as receiving Jesus’ love, experiencing peace at Mass and during homilies, spreading God’s word across the world, acknowledging our gifts to serve God, and showing us the way to an eternal reward in heaven through teaching and healing. One of the best quotes heard that day was from St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” Perhaps the most striking impression that the students made came from their honest and pure intentions, namely their very lives themselves. The Grace of God, the students’ faithful upbringing, and the dedicated teachers gave the Serrans and those attending great encouragement for our sons and daughters toward Catholic life and possible vocations.

Msgr. Michael Mullen followed the presentations with special recognition of points like the gifts that God has given us and how we can return those gifts in serving Jesus, who gave his gift of life and love. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kathy O’Hara, added her praise and encouragement for our young people in a world that is often countercultural to the message of the Gospel. The eleven judges of the year-long contest were thanked, as well as the co-chairs and assistants for this wonderful event.

Out special thanks for the judges who selected the winning essays. Preliminary Judges: Al Hoff, Jack Lawrence, David Boone, Frank Dodd, Ed O'Malley, Bill Kidder, Don Oswald, Will Miller; Finalist Judges: Burton Hurter, Bob Yoksh, and Lee Crutchfield

John L. Coakley and George Dirnberger Co-Chairs

Clicking on the photo of each student will take you to his/her winning essay.

Katie Price, Good Shepherd Catholic School
Logan Cook, Nativity Parish School
Sydney Nguyen, Holy Spirit Catholic School
Noah Stanton, Ascension Catholic School
The students, their parents and Msgr. Mullen
The students, their teachers and school prinicpals, Dr. Kathy O'Hara and Msgr. Mullen
The students with parents, teachers, school principals and Dr. O'Hara