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Family Rosary names winner in 2016 “Try Prayer” Competition

Family Rosary has selected David De Costa of Queen of Apostles School in Alexandria, Va., as a winner in the 2016 U.S. “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest, a national competition that encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose. He was selected from nearly 2,500 finalists in the 21st annual contest.

David, who lives in Alexandria, won first place in the Grade 2 category. For his winning entry, he submitted a colorful drawing of people joining Jesus’ “family” by following his teachings.

Each year, approximately 25,000 children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes, and other Catholic organizations use their creative skills to illustrate a different faith-based theme. This year, the theme was Who is my mother? Who are my brothers and sisters? Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade creatively depicted in various art forms how they act in faith and follow the word of God.

The contest theme this year is based on scripture. In Matthew 12:46-50, Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are waiting to speak to Him. Jesus asks, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” He then holds out His hand toward His disciples and says, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father, who is in Heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

“Scripture teaches us that we connect with Jesus by doing the will of God,” said Father Hugh Cleary, C.S.C., National Director of Family Rosary. “We must listen carefully for his direction and then do what is asked of us. It is difficult to hear God speak when we are distracted by so many other things: texting, email, commercials, friends, activities. It is important to set aside time for prayer and meditation so that we can connect with God.”

In addition to the “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest in the United States, separate competitions are conducted in Mexico, East Africa, West Africa, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Ireland, France, Chile, Peru and the Philippines.

Entries are judged on content, ability to capture and interpret the theme, artistic and technical proficiency.

In the United States, up to three winners are chosen per grade:  first-place winners are awarded $100 U.S., and the sponsoring organization earns $100 U.S and a copy of the DVD-A Dedicated Man. Runners-up in Grades 6-12 get the Down From the Mountain DVD while Grades K-5 receive a copy of the Life of Christ DVD series and the sponsoring organizations receive a copy of the DVD-A Dedicated Man.

The 2017 “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest will be starting soon. Teachers, parents, and students will be able to download the registration form at For details, contact Family Rosary at 800-299-7729.

Family Rosary was founded in 1942 by the late Servant of God Patrick Peyton. The “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest derives its name from an experience in his life. While a seminarian, Father Peyton was stricken with severe tuberculosis. At one point, a frustrated physician said, “Try prayer! We have done all we can for you.” Father Peyton prayed his Rosary to the Blessed Mother, and he made a miraculous recovery, which he attributed entirely to Mary’s intercession.

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