Nathan Ko

iPad awarded to Christian unity contest winner

By 
  • January 24, 2014

TORONTO - If at first you don’t succeed, Nathan Ko knows why you should try and try again. Ko, who placed third last year in The Catholic Register’s and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor’s student writing contest on Christian unity, is this year’s first place winner.

The 15-year-old has won a 32GB iPad mini for his essay reflecting on the Scripture passage 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 and the theme of “has Christ been divided.”

“I really enjoy writing. My friend said I probably wouldn’t win again this year. I wanted to prove that wrong,” said the Grade 10 student at St. Brother André Catholic High School in Markham, Ont.

In writing his essay, Ko said “I was surprised to learn that Jesus, Paul and the early Church were already concerned about Christian disunity. It’s as if they already foresaw what would happen centuries later.

Reading Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, Ut Unum Sint, gave me new insights and a more thorough comprehension about the need for Christian unity, which really inspired me in my writing.”

He adds, “I feel very blessed. I hope that my article will be a source of inspiration both for others and myself to be more active in the ecumenical movement for the greater glory of God.”

About 30 high school students entered this year’s contest. Second-place was awarded to Kelly Cheung, 15, of St. Robert Catholic High School in Markham, Ont. Cheung won a 64GB Kobo Arc.

An honourable mention goes to Zita Lee, a Grade 12 student at St. Brother Andre Catholic High School.

The overall quality of entries was quite good, said Fr. Damian MacPherson, director for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs for the archdiocese of Toronto.

“The first place prize winner did an excellent job in reflecting the theme and devoting his energies to encouraging people why the ecumenical agenda is very important in the life of the Christian Church,” said MacPherson.

He said that “being ecumenical is not a choice that the Roman Catholic Church can arbitrarily make any longer, but it’s a responsibility that it must necessarily assume and be engaged in and even show leadership in.”

Referring to Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Ut Unum Sint, he added, “we find the Holy Father indicates that ecumenism is at the heart and life of the Church.”

Essays were judged by MacPherson, The Register’s publisher/editor Jim O’Leary and managing editor Mickey Conlon.

The awards ceremony will be held at St. Joan of Arc Church at 1701 Bloor St. W. in Toronto on Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. Winning essays will be published in coming weeks starting with Ko’s in this issue of The Register.

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