By Roberto Bacalski, Program and Development Coordinator
The Arlington Mission Office is proud to present the winners of the first annual Missionary Essay Contest.
1st Place - Aaron Peiffer
2nd Place - Julie Schoenman
3rd Place - Mary Grace Coltharp
Traveling to the slums of Buenos Aires, shanty towns in Haiti, and poor communities in Honduras, these missionaries deepened their faith by responding to Christ's mandate to go out to all the nations. The theme of the essay contest, "How My Mission Trip Changed Me" was uniquely addressed by each of these authors. Each essay is a personal reflection on the profundity of doing ordinary acts with extraordinary love. The essays will be published in the Arligton Catholic Herald (print edition only) and posted to the Bánica Blog beginning October 4 with Ms. Coltharp's essay, followed by Ms. Schoenman's on October 11, and ending with Mr. Peiffer's essay on October 18 as we head into World Mission Sunday on October 22.
The winning essays were carefully chosen by a blue-ribbon team of judges consisting of Corinne Monogue, Director of the Arlington Diocese Office of Multicultural Ministries, Michelle Haworth, Executive Director of Commissioned by Christ, and Michael Mele, an experienced Mission Office volunteer and author of several mission articles published in the Arlington Catholic Herald. Each judge selected their top three choices. The winners were then culled from a consensus of the three judges' picks. Each of our winners was placed in the top three by at least two judges. Mission Office Director, the Very Rev. Patrick L. Posey gave the final approval before the winners were notified.
Bishop Burbidge will present these deserving winners with a special certificate in a private ceremony on September 28.