The following is Jessica Nguyen’s winning essay for the 2017 Friars’ Student Writing Awards contest:

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a reminder of yet another huge division in Christianity. 

Reconciliation: the love of Christ compels us

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The following is Ruthann J. Lemonius’s second place essay for the 2017 Friars’ Student Writing Awards contest:

By Google’s definition, reconciliation is “the restoration of friendly relations.” But because of the topic, the second definition seemed more fitting: “the action of making one view or belief compatible with another.”

They will know we are Christians by our love

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The following is Sabrina Quartarone’s third place essay for the 2017 Friars’ Student Writing Awards contest:

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died”— 2 Corinthians 5:14. What does this verse mean and how does it relate to Christian reconciliation?

Called to share in Christ’s mission

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The following is the third place finisher by Vincent Pham, a student at Toronto's Chaminade College, in the annual essay contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor.

Our sacrifices reflect our faith in Jesus

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The following is the second place finisher by Raquel Seara, a student at Toronto's Loretto College, in the annual essay contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor.

The spiritual house of God

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Here is the winning entry in the annual essay contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor. Sharanya Tiwari, 16, is a Grade 11 student at St. Augustine Secondary School in Brampton, Ont.

A call to unity [2015 winning entry for the Friars' Essay Contest]

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Editor’s note: this is the winning essay in the annual contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor. Angela Grace Tabucan is in Grade 12 at St. Brother André Catholic High School in Markham, Ont.

Often in our world Catholics tend to have a great discomfort when talking about or communicating with those of other Christian denominations. John 4:1-42 tells of Jesus and the woman of Samaria, and shows Jesus reaching out of His own Jewish community to speak with this woman. Christ is always found seeking community with others and when we embrace Christian unity we further grow in communion, strength and in love with Him.

Division hurts the Christian body [2015 Friars' Essay 2nd place]

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Editor’s note: this is the second-place essay in the annual contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor. Veronica Marie Carswell is a student at Toronto's Don Bosco Secondary School.

In a good world, everyone would be accepted and respected despite their differences. In a perfect world, everyone would be accepted and respected because of their differences.

Teach all peoples, of all nationalities, the word of God [2015 Friars' Essay 3rd place]

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Editor’s note: this is the third place essay in the annual contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor. Michael Bellucci is a student at Toronto's Bishop Allen Academy.

The passage of John 4: 1-42 tells us how Jesus travelled to Samaria and did an almost unspeakable thing for that time. He associated himself with a Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans had a long-standing prejudice towards each other and they never got along. When Jesus went to a well to get water, He spoke with a woman who was not only a Samaritan, but had five husbands and was looked down upon in her community. When Jesus spoke to the woman, even she was astonished He was talking to her.

Diversity, not division for unity

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Editor’s note: this is the third place entry in the annual essay contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor. Zita Lee, a Grade 12 student at Markham, Ont.’s St. Brother André Catholic High School, took third prize.

Love and compassion will unite Christianity

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Editor’s note: this is the second place entry in the annual essay contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement- Graymoor. Kelly Cheung, 15, a student at Thornhill, Ont.’s St. Robert Catholic High School, took second prize.

According to the Bible, the basic definition of a Christian is a person who acknowledges their faith to Jesus Christ and His teachings. Although all Christians share similar beliefs and values, they are not all the same. Their differences have resulted in three main branches of Christianity: Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant. These sectors were created because of different interpretations of the Bible but not the division of Christ. There is only one God, one Christ whom all Christians believe in.

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