Priest calls winners of Christmas contest “missionaries through their art”
WASHINGTON (CNS) – This year’s winners of the Missionary Childhood Association’s annual Christmas art competition “are missionaries through their art, for their designs proclaim the good news of Jesus’ birth,” said Msgr. Kieran E. Harrington, National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies based in New York.
“The mission church is blessed by the enthusiasm shown by these young artists – and by their commitment to the mission, in prayer and sacrifice,” said the priest.
Mgr. Harrington was in Washington with several of the laureates for an awards ceremony and special mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on December 3.
Twenty-four elementary school students won this year’s competition and their works will be on display at the National Shrine throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.
The winners come from the Archdioceses / Dioceses of Boston, Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Metuchen, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Springfield, Illinois, St. Louis , Trenton, New Jersey, and Venice, Florida.
Eleven of the laureates attended the award ceremony at the National Shrine, followed by Mass celebrated by Mgr. Harrington. Among the other participants were the directors of the pontifical missionary works and the coordinators of the Association of Missionary Children in the 11 archdioceses and dioceses with the laureates present.
Each award plaque was individualized for the winner and showcased their winning work.
The drawings represented scenes from the Christmas tale: shepherds and angels, the Three Kings and the Holy Family, the animals present by the manger and the Child Jesus.
Hundreds of entries have been received, by mail and online, for this annual competition, which dates back to 1933.
At the time, the Missionary Childhood Association used children’s artwork on Christmas seals. Christmas cards were introduced in 2005, and in 2007 eGreetings were launched using winning art.
The eGreetings featuring this year’s winners were launched on the First Sunday of Advent at egreetings.missio.org.
The two big winners of the competition – Jacob Cruz of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Emily Shapeero of the Diocese of Harrisburg – will also have their work featured on the official Pontifical Missionary Works Christmas card this year.
“This competition is only an opportunity for the young people to be missionaries of today”, declared Mgr. Harrington. “MCA is fortunate to be able to introduce the children here at home to their brothers and sisters in the missions and to nurture this ‘children helping children’ relationship.
The association’s 2021-2022 Christmas artwork competition is now open. Details are posted at https://info.missio.org/2021entryform.
The Association of Missionary Childhood is one of the four Pontifical Missionaries active in some 120 countries around the world.
The four organizations “work to animate the faithful to a universal missionary spirit” and to rally support for the efforts of the church in some 1,100 missionary dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and parts of it. Latin America and Europe.
The four companies and their respective areas of responsibility are:
– The Missionary Childhood Association is directing its efforts towards school-aged children to sensitize them to the missions and to seek prayers and support for the sensitization of the children of the mission.
– The Society for the Propagation of the Faith encourages prayer and support for pastoral and evangelization programs in missionary dioceses on the part of adults, as well as high school and college students.
– The Society of Saint Peter the Apostle takes care of encouraging prayer and financial aid for seminarians and religious novices in the missions.
– The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious is a spiritual apostolate “to form and deepen the missionary spirit in those who are called to animate all the faithful in missionary work”.
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Editor’s Note: You can find more information about Pontifical Missionary Works online at www.OneFamilyInMission.org.