Ecumenism contest winners take home iPods

By 
  • January 15, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - Joshua Lowe has taken the first prize in the seventh annual Friars’ Student Writing Award contest for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. (See here for Joshua's essay )

The Grade 11 student at St. Augustine Catholic High School in Markham, Ont., was one of more than 70 high school students between the ages of 14 and 18 who competed by submitting a 500-word essay on ecumenism.

The annual contest is co-sponsored by The Catholic Register and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement in Toronto.   

The theme for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which runs Jan. 18-25, is “That they may become one in your hand” (Ezekiel 37:15-28). Contestants were asked to explain what they think that phrase means to Christians today.

“In doing this essay, I learned that we should all put our differences aside because in the end, we all believe in Christ,” Lowe said. “I think we could put a better effort into making ecumenism a reality by educating ourselves and opening up to the other branches of Christianity. We could make a monumental stride .”

As the first place winner, Lowe will receive an iPod Touch and a one-year subscription to The Catholic Register.

Second-place winner Victoria Huryn will receive an iPod Nano and will also receive a one-year subscription to The Catholic Register. Huryn, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Hawthorn School for Girls in Toronto.

There were four honourable mentions, each of whom will receive a one-year subscription to The Register:

Patrick Colangelo , 16, in Grade 11 at St. Michael’s College School in Toronto;

Anthony Labriola , 17, in Grade 12 at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School in Oshawa, Ont.;

Michael Kirley , 17, in Grade 12 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay, Ont.;

Sarah Antony , 16, in Grade 11 at St. Joseph’s Morrow Park Catholic High School in Toronto.

Franciscan Friar of the Atonement Damian MacPherson said it was especially encouraging this year to see a significant increase in the number of contestants over last year. MacPherson said he hoped this is an indication that there remains an enthusiasm and an interest for Christian unity.

“One of the things we value most in the world of Christian unity is what happens at the grassroots level; the contest is a way to stimulate interest at the grass roots,” he said.

MacPherson judged the essays with The Catholic Register’s Publisher and Editor Joseph Sinasac, Managing Editor Mickey Conlon and Youth Editor Carolyn Girard.

All winning essays will be published in The Catholic Register in the following weeks starting this week with Lowe’s essay.

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