First-place winner Joel George.

Student wins iPad in Christian unity contest

  • February 8, 2013

TORONTO - Joel George of Francis Libermann Catholic High School in Toronto is the first prize winner in the 12th annual Student Writing Contest for Christian Unity.

The 16-year old will be awarded an iPad mini for his essay reflecting on “What does God require of us?” (Micah 6:6-8) which adressed the theme of three areas to be addressed to achieve Christian unity.

“Christian unity to me is having all Christians realize that essentially we are all children of God, all part of the same body of Christ and we all need each other to effectively carry out the ‘life functions’ of Christ on Earth,” said George. “I believe Christian unity is something God wants, which it is as mentioned in Ephesians 4:1-16. Then no power on Earth could ever keep Christian unity from occurring, so long as we practice what God asks of us: act together for justice, forgive one another and live humbly under the one title of followers of Christ.”

More than 100 high school students entered the contest, which was sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor and The Catholic Register. Second-place was awarded to Alister Vaz, 15, of St. Francis Xavier Secondary School in Mississauga. Vaz won a Kobo Arc.

Nathan Ko, 14, of Brother André Catholic High School in Markham placed third. Amber Adjella, 17, of Toronto’s St. Joseph Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School placed fourth. Grade 12 student Lauren Kennedy of Thornhill’s St. Robert Catholic High School and Grade 11 student Sam Molinaro Hamilton’s of St. Mary Catholic Secondary School tied for fifth place.

The top three essays will be forwarded to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Christian Unity to demonstrate that ecumenism is alive at the grassroots level.

“I am really excited about having my entry sent to the Vatican and hope that it does not end there,” said George. “We as Christians should always try our best and let God do the rest and that is exactly what I have done with my entry. I am excited to see how God will work.”

Essays were judged by Fr. Damian MacPherson, director for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs for the Archdiocese of Toronto, and The Register’s publisher/editor Jim O’Leary, managing editor Mickey Conlon and youth editor Ruane Remy.

The awards ceremony will be held at St. Joan of Arc Church at 1701 Bloor St. W. in Toronto on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. Winning essays will be published in coming weeks starting with George’s in this issue of The Register.


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