1,058 Catholic Eighth Graders Write About Chastity, Respect Life, 146 Finalists Honored at April 18 Assembly
With approximately 500 people in attendance, the April 18 awards assembly culminated nearly five months of work that went into the 2018 Respect Life Creative Writing Contest. This partnership between the Catholic Education Office, Respect Life Apostolate, and schools and parishes throughout the archdiocese, helped 1,058 eighth graders reflect on the virtue of chastity and respecting each person's fundamental right to life.
These entries represented 61 schools, Parish School of Religion programs, and Catholic home schools. Of these students, 146 were rated as finalists by our judges and invited to the award assembly at the Cardinal Rigali Center.
At the assembly, Archbishop Robert Carlson, Fr. Brian Fallon, Bob Cochran (nephew of Bishop Edward O'Donnell), Zip Rzeppa, Missouri Knights of Columbus leaders and RLA Executive Director Karen Nolkemper helped present the awards and inspire the students. The presence of parents, teachers, principals, priests, and religious further inspired and supported the achievement of these eighth graders.
Each finalist received a certificate of achievement, respect life T-shirt, a teen book on chastity, and the opportunity to be individually recognized, presented, and photographed with Archbishop Carlson.
In addition, 14 of these 146 finalists were selected for either a scholarship or an honorable mention. This year, six one-time, partial scholarships and eight honorable mention prizes were awarded to help 14 students more easily pursue Catholic high school education in 2018-2019.
The recipients of the six $2,000 scholarships are:
- Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship: Emmeline Roseberry (St. Margaret of Scotland Grade School and Parish) will be attending Nerinx Hall
- Mary Forrestal Hennessey Scholarship: Meghan Meehan (home school, St. Dominic Savio Parish) will be attending Bishop DuBourg High School
- Mr. & Mrs George Kletzker Scholarships: Leah Anderson (St. Joseph of Imperial Grade School and Parish) will be attending Ursuline Academy, and Olivia Knobbe (St. Joseph-Josephville Grade School and Parish) will be attending St. Dominic High School
- Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship: John Paul Vlahutin (Annunziata Grade School and Holy Trinity Parish) will be attending Chaminade College Preparatory School
- St. Joseph Evangelization Network Scholarship: Carlotta Croak (Holy Infant Grade School and Parish) will be attending Villa Duchesne
The recipients of the eight honorable mention awards are:
- Alexander Rodriguez (Holy Trinity Grade School, Our Lady of the Presentation Parish), will be attending DeSmet Jesuit High School
- Amy Lien Stukenholtz (Sacred Heart-Valley Park Grade School and Parish), will be attending Cor Jesu Academy
- Eric Piening (St. Monica Grade School and Parish), will be attending St. Louis University High School
- Matilda Killeen (St. Margaret of Scotland Grade School and Parish), will be attending Visitation Academy
- Gabriel Chase Lancia (Holy Cross Academy, Our Lady of Providence Parish), will be attending St. Pius X High School
- Hannah Lifka (St. Peter Grade School, St. Joseph-Imperial Parish), will be attending Lindbergh High School
- Hannah King (St. John Paul II Preparatory School, Queen of All Saints Parish) will be continuing her high school education at St. John Paul II
- Hope Dery (homeschool, St. Joseph-Cottleville Parish), will be attending St. John Paul II Preparatory School
Click here to read the St. Louis Review article.
Click here to read the winning scholarship entries.