Since 1979, the Respect Life Apostolate has sponsored an annual writing competition for 8th grade students planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program. (Catholic students entering a public high school are also encouraged to enter as they're still eligible for an honorable mention prize).
About the Contest
Students write about the virtue of chastity and how this virtue leads to a healthy, happy, and holy life which helps prevent abortion. The RLA feels it is very important for young people to understand this virtue, especially in light of the often casual attitude toward sexual relationships in our society today.
Each year, the Archdiocese of St. Louis receives approximately 1,100 entries from students representing 60-plus Catholic day schools, PRS programs, and Catholic home schools. Finalists and scholarship winners are honored at a spring awards ceremony with Archbishop Robert Carlson or his representative.
The 2020 contest will open in early January. Applications and guidelines will be are available after that time from your pastor's office, Catholic school principal, Parish School of Religion director, Catholic Home School association/co-op, or by contacting the archdiocese at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-792-7560 (leave a voicemail if not immediately available).
Partial, one-time scholarships are available to the winning writers:
- Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship honoring a student from a Catholic elementary school entering a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
- Mary Forrestal-Hennessey Scholarship awarded to a student who participates in a parish PSR program (including home school students) and is planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
- Mr. and Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship awarded to a student planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
- Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship awarded to a student from a Catholic elementary school, PSR student, or home school student planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
- Respect Life, Family & Social Responsibility Scholarship
The Bishop O’Donnell and Forrestal Hennessey scholarships were founded in the 1970s to encourage students to examine the facts regarding abortion and chastity, and especially how these issues impact their own lives. The Kletzker, Knights of Columbus (2014), and Respect Life, Family & Social Responsibility (2020) scholarships were established more recently with the same intention.
Honorable mention awards are also available. In addition, all scholarship and honorable mention winners receive complimentary tickets to the annual Respect Life Convention Keynote and Awards banquet.
Click here to view the photos from the 2019 Awards Assembly.