National Catholic Register


Scholarly Success

BY Father Owen Kearns, LC

December 13-19, 2009 Issue | Posted 12/4/09 at 4:43 PM


The winners of the Register’s first-ever scholarship essay contest have been selected.

Second runner-up Melanie L. Souchet will receive $500 toward her college tuition for persuasively positing that secularism loves to tear down the Catholic faith because “it knows something deep down, something that it rarely admits out loud. Maybe, Secularism thinks, Catholic is cooler.”

“My Catholic faith is more important to me than secular entertainment,” writes first runner-up Kelly Conroy, “because it is what makes me happy for more than just a couple passing hours. So when my friends ask me if I ‘jam out’ to my iPod, I respond, ‘Oh yeah — I jam with Jesus!’” She takes home a $750 scholarship.

And the winner of our grand prize of $1,000, Harvard freshman Christopher Oppermann, compares pop culture’s “craze” over social-justice issues with the Church’s 2,000-year-old commitment to the poor and disadvantaged. The Catholic faith, he points out, “provides a solid intellectual foundation, grounding social justice in the unchanging truths about the human person: Each man and woman is created in God’s image and deserves our love and protection. … It doesn’t get much cooler than that.”

Indeed it doesn’t. Congratulations, winners! And a heartfelt thank you to all who entered.

Register readers, watch for the full text of the three top essays in an upcoming issue.