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Winners Of Our First Annual Essay Contest

6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade

6th Grade

What Does My Family Mean To Me?

by Pierre Hernandez
St. Gregory the Great School

It is pretty odd that not everybody has a family. As a young child my family broke up. From then until now I've been living in foster homes for a period of two years at a time. My goal is to reunite with my brothers and to stay in touch with my present family.

To me a family means a place where I am secure, cared for, and loved. To some kids, they think a foster home is just a place where you are disciplined and treated unfairly. I'm not saying this is my opinion. But I don't think it is so far off the mark. It all depends on how much and how long you know the people with whom you are living. The point that I'm trying to get across is that you don't have to be the same blood or race to be in a family. All you have to do is just love the parents that love you.

The main reason why I am writing this is the following. A family is not a word in the dictionary with thousands of meanings. You just don't say "oh this looks like a good definition." Family is a word which embodies love, friendship, caring and achievement of goals. God recommended it to be just a word which provides a path to love and joy.


Christopher Catropa
St. Mark

Ashley Zawadzki
Sacred Heart

7th Grade

What My School Means To Me

by Megan Lilliedahl
All Saints Catholic School

For so many student's school means having to wake up early, spend six hours or more being somewhere they do not want to be, watching the clock until the bell rings for them to leave. I consider myself one of the fortunate students who looks forward to waking up every day and going to All Saints Catholic School. My years at All Saints Catholic School have touch many different aspects of my life. Not only am I receiving a tremendous education, but the friends I have made, the teachers I have been blessed with, the strengthening of my faith through the Christian environment, all the more meaningful to me. I would like to discuss in more detail what each of these aspects means to me.

I have received a religious education from All Saints Catholic School for seven years. Being able to have God in my life through Christian education on a daily basis, is an advantage few children will ever know. Having the opportunity to practice my religious faith freely in a Catholic school is a benefit in my interest over many public school children who are Christians. I have the opportunity to learn more about my faith and my Christian background throughout a period of forty-five minutes a day. Through this class I feel a tighter bond between myself and God.

Second to religious education I feel my academic education in which I receive at All Saints Catholic School is a very important aspect in my life. Through the teachings I receive from successful, intelligent teachers expand my mind to higher levels. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn new things. The subjects I study such as the basic steps of mathematics, literature, science, grammar, history and religion will all be useful in my later years to come. Being given the opportunity to enhance my education at All Saints Catholic School is part of my life in which will help me become successful in whatever I set out to be and accomplish.

The third aspect in which I feel my school is about is not only the religious and academic education's I receive but how I expand my growth of friendships. Throughout the years at All Saints Catholic School I have made many friends, including teachers. These friendships have had many hardships, ups and downs, and obstacles to overcome. Even though these things stand in the way of friendships I feel I have overcome each and every one. As my friends grow, prosper to different areas, and become independent, I feel each and every one of my friends will remember the great times we shared at a school with a lot of wonderful people, All Saints Catholic School.

In conclusion, to me, school means more than just a building. It's about the education I receive, and the friendships I have made. As a student at All Saints Catholic School I feel proud and honored to be a part of a school that has so much integrity, intelligence, and good mannered human beings. All of the teachers I have been blessed with, one in particular, I feel has a saying that will be with me for the rest of my life, "All intelligent people ask questions."


Meghan Sheehan
St. Rose

Ashley Miller
St. Lawrence


8th Grade

What My Church Means To Me

by Michael O'Connell
Greenwich Catholic

The Catholic Church is much like the mosaic pattern created by its stained glass windows. Like the windows with many panes of glass, the Church is made up of many different people -- people of different races, different backgrounds and different countries. And, like the stained glass windows, these small pieces join together to create one unit -- the Catholic Church. The word "Catholic" means open, worldly, and accepting. The Church is open to all people who wish to join and become a part of it. Our Church is made up of many small parishes which combine to make up the Catholic community of love. The Catholic Church has always been a church of sharing. Like Jesus, we share bread and wine, and we also share each other's abilities and talents to make the world a better place to live in. There are an uncountable number of ways that the Catholic Church reaches out to others. To me, the word "church" does not just mean a building in which we serve and worship God, it means a gathering of people who have come together because of love for one another, and because of love for Our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is truly a way of living our daily lives.

The Catholic Church and its people follow the path of Jesus in every way possible. Jesus died for us. Jesus taught us how to be a people of love, help and praise. Although he is not physically with us, he will be in the future, as he was in the past. He sent leaders to guide us, and to be His feet, voice, head, hands, and heart here on earth. His feet are made up of missionaries, clergy, teachers and all those who spread the gospel and help our Church to grow. Musicians, poets and storytellers are his voice in that they tell the good news of the Lord in an entertaining and fun manner. Leaders who speak out and write about the goodness of God are the Jesus' head here on earth. His hands are made up of healers and care givers and those who reach out to the suffering and help the less fortunate. The courageous, and those of us who pray for others and continue to believe in the word of God despite these difficult times, represent the true heart of Jesus.

The sacraments are signs that celebrate the presence of God's love in our lives. There are seven sacraments. Baptism welcomes us into the Church, and unites us with Jesus. Confirmation strengthens the new life we received in Baptism and makes us living witnesses of Jesus. The Eucharist celebrates Jesus' body and blood in the appearance of bread and wine. Reconciliation is a celebration of God's healing and forgiveness of our sins. Anointing of the sick brings Jesus' healing, comfort and strength to those who are ill or in danger of death. Matrimony celebrates the permanent and life-long love of a man and woman for each other. Through Holy Orders, men are ordained priests so that they may serve the Church in a special way.

The Catholic Church is different from any other religion. Our Church found its direction and foundation from Jesus himself. Starting with the help of the Apostles, our Church has stood strong through centuries of strife and adversaries. We believe in one God that takes three forms knows as the Trinity. We believe in Jesus as the Son of God who died for us and will come again. We believe in the Holy Spirit who helps and guides us in our daily lives. We are world-wide, and accepting of all. We live in a religion of free will and responsibility. Most importantly, we are part of a church that has a special unity throughout it.

The Catholic Church is a way of life and my religion is very important to me. Jesus' teachings help me in school and in every day life. God helps me when making big decisions. The Catholic religion has taught me how to treat others, and how to be responsible for my actions. It is the reason for me attending Greenwich Catholic School, and the reason for me having the good friends that I have today. My religion has kept me out of trouble, and has helped me to be successful in my life. It has guided me and helped me make good choices. When all is said and done, the Catholic Church has made me a better person, and the world a better place to live in!


Nadine Khahil
St. Peter's

Caitlin Smith
St. Mary's

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