Four St. Mary’s Students Winners of Diocesan Respect Life Contest

Four St. Mary’s Students Winners of Diocesan Respect Life Contest

On Sunday, May 19th, four St. Mary’s students were honored for their unwavering commitment to the protection of all human life, expressed through their creative works on the theme “Every Life: Cherished, Chosen, Sent,” at a diocesan awards Mass and ceremony.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre’s annual Respect Life Contest invites youth in Catholic parishes and schools to reflect on the value of life, especially on integral issues such as abortion, euthanasia, suicide, stem cell research, and reproductive technology. The submissions take the form of creative or persuasive essays, original songs, poetry, video presentations, photography, and more. The submissions are then graded by each student’s teacher, school, and/or parish, and only one submission per category is then sent to the Diocese for final judging.

Ms. Anna Green and Mr. Kevin White were delighted with the submissions they received from their students, who were asked to participate as part of the theology curriculum. From among these heartfelt, well-researched, and academically impressive contest entries, only a select number of finalists were chosen as representatives of St. Mary’s High School. These finalists were still among hundreds more from across Long Island.

It was therefore extremely exciting when four of our students placed among the top three in their respective categories! James Kastner ‘22 placed 2nd for his thoughtful essay on the value of life in its later stages, Christopher Malanga ‘22 placed 3rd for his moving video on the personhood of the unborn child, Branch Worsham ‘20 placed 3rd for his tender song about a father aiding a son in his darkest moment, and Melissa Dieudonne ‘19 placed 3rd for her powerful poem on the mercy of God as more powerful than giving up.

These four students were honored at St. Agnes Cathedral by Bishop John Barres. First, the students, with their families, attended the weekly televised Mass, where they were publicly recognized not only for those in attendance but for those who watch the Catholic Faith Network. Afterwards, they gathered for refreshments and an awards ceremony. Pictures from that ceremony can be found here.

Once again, congratulations to Melissa, Branch, Christopher, and James for their powerful witnesses to the inherent dignity and worth of all human beings. By using their God-given talents to spread this powerful message, they are true evangelizers to those around them.