2016 Try Prayer! It Works!

Contest - Winners

Family Rosary announces the winners of the 2016 “Try Prayer! It Works!”Contest. The 21st annual national competition – which encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose – attracted nearly 2500 entries from across the country.

Each year, approximately 25,000 children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes and other Catholic organizations use their creative skills to illustrate a different faith-based theme. This year, the theme was Who is my mother? Who are my brothers and sisters? Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade creatively depicted in various art forms how they act in faith and follow the word of God.

The contest theme this year is based on scripture. In Matthew 12:46-50, Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are waiting to speak to Him. Jesus asks, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” He then holds out His hand toward His disciples and says, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in Heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

"Scripture teaches us that we connect with Jesus by doing the will of God,” said Father Hugh Cleary, C.S.C. “We must listen carefully for his direction and then do what is asked of us. It is difficult to hear God speak when we are distracted by so many other things: texting, email, commercials, friends, activities. It is important to set aside time for prayer and meditation so we can connect with God."

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.

In the United States, up to three winners are chosen per grade: first-place winners are awarded $100 U.S., and the sponsoring organization earns $100 U.S and a copy of the DVD A Dedicated Man. Runners-up in Grades 6-12 get the “Down From the Mountain” DVD, while Grades K-5 receive a copy of the Life of Christ DVD series and the sponsoring organizations receive a copy of the DVD A Dedicated Man.

Family Rosary was founded in 1942 by the late Servant of God Patrick Peyton. 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 words, “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together,” still resonate today.

In the spirit of its founder, Servant of God Patrick Peyton, Family Rosary encourages family prayer, especially the Rosary. Family Rosary is a ministry of Holy Cross Family Ministries, which serves Jesus Christ and His church by promoting and supporting the spiritual well-being of the family. For more information, call 800-299-7729 or visit www.FamilyRosary.org/TryPrayer.

We congratulate all the children and teens that shared their faith with us through their inspiring entries. The following are the 2016 Winners and their artwork.

2016 Theme: "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers and sisters?"

United States

Grade 12

  1.  

    First Place

    Tyler Rivard, Grade 12 First Place
    Declan Reimer
    St. Francis de Sales
    Toledo, OH

Grade 11

  1.  

    First Place

    Karla Garza, Grade 11 First Place
    Mary Stockton
    Holy Angels Academy
    Louisville, KY
  2.  

    Third Place

    Sydney Luk, Grade 11 Third Place
    Carol Anne Marcolin
    Marcolin Home School
    Rockville, MD

Grade 10

  1.  

    First Place

    Austin Kramer, Grade 10 First Place
    Alfonso Mancillas
    The Pharr Oratory of St. Philip Neri School
    Pharr, TX

Grade 9

  1.  

    First Place

    Margaret Yorkgitis, Grade 9 First Place
    Brithney Rivera
    All Saints Church
    Brooklyn, NY

Grade 8

  1.  

    First Place

    Amy Mistri, Grade 8 First Place
    Kirsten Paraguya
    Mary Immaculate Queen School
    Lemoore, CA
  2.  

    Second Place

    Laura Hernandez, Grade 8 Second Place
    Leila Joy Castillo
    Home School
    Ave Maria, FL
  3.  

    Third Place (TIE)

    Melissa Scanlon, Grade 8 Third Place
    Ashley Harding
    St. Martha School
    Enfield, CT
  4.  

    Third Place (TIE)

    Melissa Scanlon, Grade 8 Third Place
    Alessandra Good
    St. Martha School
    Enfield, CT

Grade 7

  1.  

    First Place

    Jonah Valdès, Grade 7 First Place
    Jessica Kramer
    Holy Angels Academy
    Louisville, KY
  2.  

    Second Place (TIE)

    Megan Stefanacci, Grade 7 Second Place
    Rebecca López
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  3.  

    Third Place

    Hannah Vaughan, Grade 7 Third Place
    Irina Zheng
    Our Lady of Guadalupe School
    Brooklyn, NY

Grade 6

  1.  

    First Place

    Jessica Kramer, Grade 6 First Place
    Evan Koch
    St. Joseph School
    Danbury, CT
  2.  

    Second Place

    Emma Brown, Grade 6 Second Place
    Cecilia Norton
    Holy Angels Academy
    Louisville, KY
  3.  

    Third Place

    Jonathan Nottingham, Grade 6 Third Place
    Nevan Wilmhoff
    Guardian Angels School
    Cincinnati, OH

Grade 5

  1.  

    First Place

    Connor Lambert, Grade 5 First Place
    Olivia Smith
    JMJ Academy/Home School
    Indianapolis, IN
  2.  

    Second Place

    Maria Detillier, Grade 5 Second Place
    Bernadette Eidem
    Holy Angels Academy
    Louisville, KY
  3.  

    Third Place

    Myles Machicek, Grade 5 Third Place
    Alexia De Costa
    Queen of Apostles
    Alexandria, VA

Grade 4

  1.  

    First Place

    Carson LeBlanc, Grade 4 First Place
    Viviana Becerra
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  2.  

    Second Place

    Cole Poche, Grade 4 Second Place
    Maximiliano Valdez
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  3.  

    Third Place (TIE)

    Emily Rougeot, Grade 4 Third Place
    Jackson Tamayo
    St. Martha School
    Enfield, CT
  4.  

    Third Place (TIE)

    Olivia Smith, Grade 4 Third Place
    David Rivard
    Holy Family Parish/Home School
    Cornell, MI

Grade 3

  1.  

    First Place

    Matthew De Los Reyes, Grade 3 First Place
    Eduardo Paniagua
    St. Peter's Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  2.  

    Second Place

    Braden Walker, Grade 3 Second Place
    Sofia Navarro
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  3.  

    Third Place

    Faith Holley, Grade 3 Third Place
    Michael Hanania
    St. John Paul II Catholic School
    Houston, TX

Grade 2

  1.  

    First Place

    Ava Marziale, Grade 2 First Place
    David De Costa
    Queen of Apostles
    Alexandria, VA
  2.  

    Second Place

    Lucy Connell, Grade 2 Second Place
    Leandra Davalos
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  3.  

    Third Place

    Rustin Poche, Grade 2 Third Place
    William Longoria
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX

Grade 1

  1.  

    First Place

    Walker LeBlanc, Grade 1 First Place
    Javier Escobedo
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  2.  

    Second Place

    Jayda Gutierrez, Grade 1 Second Place
    Javier Escobedo
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  3.  

    Third Place

    Kaileigh Ferrari, Grade 1 Third Place
    Annemarie Doane
    Holy Angels Academy
    Louisville, KY

Grade K

  1.  

    First Place

    Renata De LaFuente, Grade K First Place
    Daniel Salazar
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  2.  

    Second Place

    Simonnè Cavazos, Grade K Second Place
    Alberto Oliveros, Jr.
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX
  3.  

    Third Place

    Peyton Libby, Grade K Third Place
    Miranda Flores
    St. Peter’s Memorial School
    Laredo, TX