Essay contest winners model Mary

Aug 18, 2022
Tiary C., an eighth grade student from St. Anthony Catholic School in Lakeland, took 1st place in the annual Marian Essay Contest. The essay touched upon Mary as the role model of discipleship. (COURTESY)

LAKELAND | Tiary C. is an eighth-grader at St. Anthony Catholic School who is an eager disciple. She models Mary’s love and generosity to her school, and recently took first place in the diocesan Marian Essay Contest.

The contest fosters young people in developing a deeper devotion to the Blessed Mother. The goal is to help students better understand their own role as disciples and stewards of God’s grace. Tiary modeled Our Lady’s charity and generosity by donating her $1,000 award to her school’s art program.

Up against 65 students from various Catholic schools, parish faith formation programs and youth ministries, Tiary received first place for her essay which recognized Mary’s attributes and encouraged students to follow suit.

“We need to listen like Mary. She followed God’s plan without hesitation,” the Lakeland student wrote in her essay. “We tend to expect God’s voice in holy ways, but many of His loudest voices are His needy sons and daughters, including those who do not have a voice yet and we are their advocates until they’re brought into this world. Many people claim to be devoted to Christ completely. Yet, they still choose to ignore these voices, crying out and praying for someone to care for them when no one else will.”

Tiary wrote, following “Mary’s holy way of thinking” will create a heart open to hearing God’s voice in the world; to act upon it and care for His creation.

Other top entries came from competitors at St. Paul Parish in Leesburg, Resurrection Parish in Lakeland, St. Mary Magdalen and Annunciation Parishes in Altamonte Springs.

The annual Marian Essay Contest, provided through The Catholic Foundation’s Father Frank Zammit Endowment Fund, is administered in partnership with The Diocese of Orlando’s Secretariats of Education and Laity, Family and Life.

Staff Report, August 17, 2022