Winners for the 2021 Friars' writing contest

  • March 10, 2021

When Nicholas De Castro sat down to write what became an award-winning essay for the annual Friars’ Student Writing Contest, one image immediately came to mind: Mother Teresa.

“In all honesty, I loved writing this essay,” said De Castro, a Grade 11 student at Chaminade College School in Toronto. “When I read this year’s theme of Abiding in Christ, all I could think about was the words of Mother Teresa. In a letter to her fellow sisters, Mother Teresa wrote, ‘I worry that some of you still have not really met Jesus.’

“It is one thing to know about Jesus, but knowing who He is really — listening to His voice, trusting in His providence, knowing His Heart —  is a whole different ball game. In my essay, I really wanted to bring that message to light.”

The annual contest, co-sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement Graymoor and The Catholic Register, is run in conjunction with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Students were asked to write a 500-word essay reflecting on John 15:1-17 and the theme of “Abiding in Christ.”

De Castro’s essay, titled “Drawing Near,” took top honours from among the many essays received from Ontario secondary school students. He receives a Lenovo Idea Pad 3 laptop.

The entries were judged by a panel of Register editors as well as Fr. Luis Melo, director of the Office for Promoting Christian Unity & Religious Relations with Judaism in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Melo was impressed by De Castro’s “excellent use of Scripture to illustrate his main argument.”

In second place was Teresa Siby, a Grade 12 student at St. Robert Catholic High School in Thornhill, who wins a Samsung Galaxy smartwatch. Jacob Stocking, in Grade 12 at Michael Power-St. Joseph High School in Etobicoke, earns Apple Airpods for his third-place finish. Below are links to the winning entries.

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