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UST Hosts Archdiocesan Essay Contest During Catholic Schools Week

Essay Contest and Mass activities for the Archdiocesan Essay Contest have been cancelled due to inclement weather.

Celebrating the gift of Catholic education, the University of St. Thomas will host more than 500 Catholic school students, parents, and teachers from 34 schools across the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for the UST/Archdiocesan Essay Contest Mass and Awards Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 4. The event coincides with the nationwide observance of Catholic Schools Week.

More than 3,000 essays were submitted in December by third to 12th grade students from 34 Archdiocese Catholic schools and then have been read and ranked by UST faculty representing a number of academic disciplines.

“This contest is an opportunity for students to personally reflect on the meaning of their Catholic education,” said Elsie Biron, director of Catholic Outreach. “At the University of St. Thomas, we emphasize the life-long importance of becoming insightful and critical thinkers with superior writing skills. The number of participants in this essay contest shows that critical message is shared throughout the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese and embraced by more and more students.”

The event will feature:
• Mass celebrated by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and concelebrated by priests from around the Archdiocese
• A candlelight processional including representatives from each of the Catholic schools and the ‘lighting’ of a tree of light
• A luncheon and awards ceremony recognizing essay contest winners
• The opportunity for young authors to meet and shake hands with Cardinal DiNardo, UST President Dr. Robert Ivany and Superintendent of Catholic Schools Sister Kevina Keating, CCVI
• The debut performance by the newly formed Archdiocesan Children’s Choir and Band
• UST scholarships will be offered to winners at the high school level who enroll at UST upon high school graduation.

Students chose from essay topics including peer pressure, leadership, how your Catholic faith makes you a distinctive American, how young people can spread the Gospel; what God calls you to do in your daily life, and how young people can live a life of integrity.

Each student will have their photo taken on stage with Cardinal DiNardo by a professional photographer. Those photos can be purchased at

For more information, contact Elsie Biron, 713-942-3171 or

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