Twenty-four elementary school-age students, each winners in the 2020-2021 Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) Christmas Artwork Contest, will have their artwork displayed at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. through the Advent and Christmas seasons this year.
The Diocese of Harrisburg is proud to have two winners this year: Emily Shapeero from St. Columba School in Bloomsburg, who was a grand-prize winner; and Elisa Halteman from Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Lancaster. Emily will also have her artwork featured on the official Pontifical Mission Societies Christmas card this year.
“These young people are missionaries through their art, as their drawings proclaim the Good News of Jesus’ birth,” said Msgr. Kieran Harrington. “The Mission Church is blessed by the enthusiasm shown by these young artists – and by their commitment to mission, in prayer and sacrifice.” Msgr. Harrington is National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (TPMS) in the United States, which include MCA.
The 24 winners of this year’s contest are from Boston, Chicago, Green Bay, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Los Angeles, Metuchen, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Springfield in Illinois, St. Louis, Trenton, and Venice. All winners’ artwork are featured as eGreetings, which launched on the First Sunday of Advent at https://egreetings.missio.org.
Hundreds of submissions were received, both through the mail and online, for this annual competition which dates back to 1933. In the early days, MCA used children’s artwork on Christmas seals. Christmas cards were introduced in 2005, and in 2007, eGreetings were launched with the drawings depicting scenes of the Christmas story.
“This contest is just one opportunity for young people to be missionaries today,” added Msgr. Harrington. “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.’”
The 2021-2022 MCA Christmas Artwork Contest is now open. Entry forms can be found at www.hbgdiocese.org/MCA. Deadline for entries is January 31, 2022.
In the last 8 years, the Diocese of Harrisburg has had 11 winners in this national contest, from Our Mother of Perpetual Help School and Parish in Ephrata, St. Columba School in Bloomsburg, and Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. John Neumann and St. Leo the Great Schools in Lancaster.
The Pontifical Mission Societies, active in some 120 countries throughout the world, work to animate the faithful to a universal missionary spirit, and to gather support for the efforts of the Church in some 1,100 mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and parts of Latin America and Europe. The Missionary Childhood Association directs its efforts to elementary school age children to raise awareness about the Missions, and to seek prayers and support for outreach to mission children. Father Robert F. Sharman is the Diocesan Director of the Harrisburg Office of Pontifical Missions, and Karen Harding is the MCA Coordinator. Visit www.hbgdiocese.org/missions to learn more.
The Pontifical Mission Societies