College of Arts and Sciences

Sacred Heart Student Receives First Place in Seton Hall University Essay Contest  

pope francisSarah Sankel, a student at Sacred Heart Academy in Rahway, New Jersey, has received first place in Seton Hall University’s 2023 High School Essay Contest: “Young Catholics and the 10th Anniversary of the Papacy of Francis.” This annual contest, organized by the Department of Catholic Studies, is open to all Catholic high school students in New Jersey.

Students were asked to write an essay answering the following questions: “How would you define ‘the Pope Francis Generation’? What are some challenges that your generation is facing in ‘bringing Christ to the world,’ and how can these challenges effectively be met in the 21st century? What are you doing—with your school, family, parish, other organization/group, or on your own—to extend Christ’s mission on Earth, attending to the needs of the people of our unique time in history?

Joining Sankel in receiving recognition for their essays are Joshua Mild, of Sacred Heart School, Rahway, the first runner up, and Grace Martin, of Camden Catholic High School, Camden, the second runner up.

“The essays we received from high schools throughout the state were truly refreshing,” said Ines Murzaku, Ph.D., Professor of Religion and Director of the Catholic Studies Program. “These young people have shown that they are thinking about and acting on ways to bring Christ to the world—to their families, their schools, their parishes, their local communities, and the global community. They are ready to rise to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, guided by a strong moral compass and by compassion.”

The first place and runner-up essays were selected out of two dozen submissions. The three student winners were invited to be honored at the annual Department of Catholic Studies Honor Society induction and the Catholic Studies Program senior reception on April 25. Each of the three received a gift certificate, and the essays will be published in Arcadia, A Student Journal for Faith and Culture. Arcadia is a project of the Department of Catholic Studies which offers a vehicle for undergraduate and graduate students to contribute to the ongoing dialogue between the Catholic tradition and all areas of contemporary culture. Arcadia is published annually.

Categories: Faith and Service