Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Student from St. Patrick School in Carlisle Wins Missionary Childhood Association Christmas Artwork Contest

Ellie Kirkpatrick’s winning artwork depicting the Blessed Mother.
Ellie Kirkpatrick’s winning artwork depicting the Blessed Mother.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., is currently showcasing the winning artwork of the 2022-2023 Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) Christmas Artwork Contest. This annual contest, a tradition since 1933, encourages children from elementary schools and religious education programs to express the joy of Christ’s birth through art.

A student in the Diocese of Harrisburg, Ellie Kirkpatrick from St. Patrick School Carlisle, was one of the national winners. Her drawing of the Blessed Mother, along with the artwork of other national winners, will hang in the National Shrine throughout the Christmas season.

An awards ceremony was held on December 1 at the Shrine, graced by the presence of 16 of the students who received special mentions, along with their families, hailing from all over the country. The awards were presented by accomplished American artist Suzanne Ferrell Nicholson, a dear friend of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

During the event, Msgr. Kieran E. Harrington, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, highlighted the significance of art in the Catholic faith: “For centuries now, the Catholic Church has been using art to make the mysteries of the faith more approachable to all,” he said. “Jesus told us: ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ How beautiful it is to see the true meaning of Christmas as envisioned by those to whom heaven belongs!”

Ellie Kirkpatrick of St. Patrick School in Carlisle is presented with an award for her artwork. With her, from left, are Msgr. Kieran Harrington, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies; Suzanne Ferrell Nicholson, artist Suzanne Ferrell Nicholson; and Alixandra Holden, National Director of the Missionary Childhood Association.
Ellie Kirkpatrick of St. Patrick School in Carlisle is presented with an award for her artwork. With her, from left, are Msgr. Kieran Harrington, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies; Suzanne Ferrell Nicholson, artist Suzanne Ferrell Nicholson; and Alixandra Holden, National Director of the Missionary Childhood Association.

The award ceremony, followed by a Mass and a luncheon at Catholic University of America, was not just a celebration of artistic talent but also a testament to the missionary spirit fostered by the Missionary Childhood Association.

“MCA is blessed to be able to introduce children here at home to their brothers and sisters in the Missions, and to encourage that relationship of ‘children helping children,’” Msgr. Harrington remarked. “This contest is just one opportunity for young people to be missionaries today.”

Alixandra Holdren, National Director of the Missionary Childhood Association, stated: “The Missionary Childhood Association has always believed in the power of children’s creativity to bridge worlds and open hearts. This year’s Christmas Artwork Contest has once again illuminated this belief. Seeing the world through the eyes of our young artists not only brings a fresh perspective to the story of Christmas but also connects us more deeply to our faith and to each other.”

The artwork is available in a digital e-greeting format, allowing anyone to spread the joy of the season while supporting the missions.

The Pontifical Mission Societies, encompassing the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Society of St. Peter Apostle, the Missionary Childhood Association, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious, works tirelessly in over 120 countries. The efforts of thousands of missionaries are rooted in spreading the Gospel, as well as building communities, educating children, and healing wounds caused by various global adversities.

In the Diocese of Harrisburg, Father Robert F. Sharman is the Diocesan Director for the Office of Pontifical Missions; Karen Harding is the Diocesan MCA Coordinator. For more information, visit www.hbgdiocese.org/missions.

The 2023-2024 MCA Christmas Artwork Contest is now open for entries, promising another year of inspiring art that bridges faith and creativity. Entry forms and guidelines can be found at this link. Entry deadline for next year’s contest is January 31, 2024.

(Photos courtesy of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States.)

From the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States

- Advertisement -spot_img

Submission Deadline

The deadline for submissions to the biweekly Notebook/Parish Obituaries listing is every other Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Please refer to the Publication Schedule for edition dates and deadlines.

Other News