From left: John Frank, event chairperson; Rocco Griguoli, third place winner; Noah Bauder, first place winner; Maryann Lawhon, Voice of John CEO; and Judith Martini, Marian teacher.
The VOICE of JOHN Ministry is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Christmas Card Contest. John Frank, event chairperson, commented on the many students throughout the area who submitted their entries, reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas! Thank you to our Faith Formation Groups, schools, and above all, to those students from throughout the area who inspired this year’s verse.
The card depicts an image of the Christ child by artist Mary Lou Smith from Saint Gregory’s Parish in Clarks Summit. Students captured the depth of the Christmas season — hope, humility, peace and light — the gifts of Christ’s Birth and His Life, the role of Mary, the Mother of Christ all among the highlights of their beautiful contemplations on Christmas.
Winner of this year’s competition is Marian Catholic Freshman Noah Bauder, who captured the journey from the stable to the Eucharistic Table, The Light of Christ to shine in all of us. Noah attends Sts Peter and Paul Church in Lehighton.
A very close 2nd place winner, Olivia Fritz, is a 7th Grade student from St Patrick’s Faith Formation Class in White Haven.
3rd place winner, also a 9th Grade student at Marian Catholic. Rocco Griguoli, from Most Precious Blood Parish in Hazleton, poetically expressed the joy of Christmas and the Glory of the King of Kings.
Maryann Lawhon, The VOICE of JOHN CEO said this competition is intended to inspire students to reflect on the birth of Christ while simultaneously engaging in the pro-life ministry. The students in grades 7-12 were challenged to write the verse that would be used for this year’s Christmas card which will be sold at churches and businesses throughout the area, as well as on the VOICE of JOHN website at thevoiceofjohn2.org.
It was truly an honor for the judges to read their verses, to recognize their hope for Peace, to honor not simply the birth of a child, but the hope, the humility, the love, the promises and peace that was born in a manger, our true King of Kings. “My Christmas is enriched by how beautifully they shared their hearts and recognized the purpose of the life of Christ”, stated Ed Pane, board member and one of the judges. Rafael Colon from Marian Catholic reminds us that if Christmas isn’t found in our hearts, it surely won’t be found under a tree.
We are most grateful to all of our students, and also to their teachers, Faith Formation Instructors, and parents, who encouraged and challenged our youth to appreciate the deeper meaning of Christmas, beyond the commercialism which we too often associate this most sacred “Holy Day” season.