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'New Neighbors' is Theme of Maryknoll Magazine's 2012 Student Essay Contest; Spotlight on People from Other Countries

Contact: Mike Virgintino, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, 914-941-7636 ext 2219

MARYKNOLL, N.Y., Sept. 6, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Among Jesus' teachings is "to love your neighbor as you love yourself." But, newcomers to the U.S. often do not feel welcome in their adopted neighborhoods and schools.

The 2012 "Maryknoll Magazine Student Essay Contest" for middle school and high school students is asking students to consider the experiences of these new neighbors who now must adapt to a different environment and lifestyle. The assignment for this year's contest asks students to describe an experience involving newcomers that they witnessed or to explain a story that has been shared with them. At the same time, the assignment must reflect on Jesus' words and students must consider how they could help new neighbors feel welcome.

"Maryknoll" magazine is published by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, the mission society of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States that follows Jesus in serving the poor and others in need in 28 countries that include the U.S. All Catholics are called to mission through baptism and confirmation, and Maryknoll's mission education outreach in parishes and schools throughout the country engages U.S. Catholics in mission through vocations, prayer, donations and as volunteers. Maryknoll missioners share God's love and the Gospel in combating poverty, providing healthcare, building communities and promoting human rights.

More than 7,000 students competed for $2,900 in cash prizes during the 2011 "Maryknoll Magazine Student Essay Contest." The awards remain the same for the 2012 contest, with $1,000 provided to each of the two first place finalists, $300 awarded to each of the two second place finalists and $150 provided to each of the two third place award recipients.

The contest focuses on a specific Christian message each year and is open to all students in grades six to eight (Division I) and grades nine to 12 (Division II). Only one entry is permitted per student. One first place winner, one second place winner and one third place winner will be recognized from each of the two divisions. The division category must be clearly identified on each submission. Essay length is 500 to 750 words and the postmark deadline for all entries is Friday, November 9, 2012.

Flyers announcing the 2012 contest have been mailed to approximately 38,000 Catholic schools and Catholic parish religious education programs in the U.S. Students of any religious denomination inside or outside the U.S. may enter. Essays must be prepared in English. Essays can be typed and double-spaced, or neatly written in ink. Winning entries will be published in the May/June 2013 issue of Maryknoll magazine and on the Maryknoll Society website.

The flyers contain the complete contest rules and submission guidelines. For more information, call the "Maryknoll Magazine Student Essay Contest" hotline at 1-888-627-9566 x2368, or visit www.maryknollsociety.org/essay.  

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