EASTON, Mass. – Family Rosary has selected siblings Tyler and Jamie Rivard of Cornell, Mich., as first-place winners in the 2013 U.S. “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest, a national competition that encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose. The brother and sister were selected from more than 1,100 finalists and more than 22,000 entries in the 18th annual contest.
Each year, children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes and other Catholic organizations utilize their creative skills to illustrate a different faith-based theme. This year, the theme was Joy to the World and students from Kindergarten through 12th grade creatively depicted in various art forms how their families are united by daily prayer and faith.
Tyler won first place in the Grade 10 Division with an essay that included illustrations about the ultimate family moment: the Nativity with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. For her award-winning entry in the Grade 6 category, Jamie submitted a moving narrative with a colorful drawing about the Nativity. She tied for first in the sixth grade division of the 2013 contest. Tyler and Jamie are home-schooled by their parents.
“The contest enables children of all ages to express the importance of prayer and faith in their daily lives,” said Father John Phalen, CSC, President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. “This year’s theme is based on the Nativity, which helps us appreciate the importance of family, caring and God’s unconditional love. This Third Joyful Mystery teaches us that joyful compassion for all God’s people is essential to a strong faith. When we embrace this, we truly know the meaning of ‘Joy to the World!’”
In addition to the “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest in the United States, separate competitions are conducted in Mexico, East Africa, West Africa, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Ireland, France, Chile, Peru and the Philippines. Entries are judged on content, ability to capture and interpret the theme, artistic and technical proficiency, and adherence to rules.
In the United States, up to three winners are chosen per grade: first-place winners are awarded $100 U.S., while the sponsoring organization earns $200 U.S. Runners-up win product from Holy Cross Family Ministries on the Rosary.
Family Rosary was founded in 1942 by the late Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC. The “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest derives its name from an experience in his life. While a seminarian, Father Peyton was stricken with severe tuberculosis. At one point, a frustrated physician said, “Try prayer! We have done all we can for you.” Father Peyton prayed his Rosary to the Blessed Mother and he made a miraculous recovery, which he attributed entirely to Mary’s intercession.
This experience – coupled with his spiritually rich family life as a youth in Ireland – inspired Father Peyton to devote his life to Mary, Mother of God, and to the spiritual well-being of the family. His famous slogan, “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together,” still resonates today.
In the spirit of its founder, Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, Holy Cross Family Ministries serves Jesus Christ and His church by promoting and supporting the spiritual well-being of the family. Faithful to Mary, the Mother of God, Family Rosary, a member ministry, encourages family prayer, especially the Rosary. For more information, call 800-299-7729 or visit www.FamilyRosary.org/TryPrayer .