Laudato Si’ Contest winners recognized

Winners of the Laudato Si’ Contest were honored on February 23 with an awards ceremony and pizza party. Schools from around the Archdiocese were represented by students, with families, teachers, and principals also in attendance.

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone offered the event’s opening prayer and spoke about the importance of water, the topic of the competition, in relation to the teachings of the Catholic faith. He praised the participating students for their efforts. Each student then had an opportunity to accept his or her prize and take a photo with the Archbishop.

After the awards were presented, attendees mingled, enjoyed pizza and refreshments, and took additional group photos with the Archbishop.

Contest participants ranged from kindergarten through high school. Each grade category had one grand prize winner, a first prize for each county, and various honorable mention recipients.

The grand prize winner for high school was Sam Meraw, a 10th grade student at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory in San Francisco. The winning essay addressed water as a human right, as reflected in Laudato Si’ and other Church documents, and how individuals can take action on behalf of others.

“Not only do we need to stand up for those lacking access to water, but we also need to stand up for those facing other struggles, such as poverty, bullying, food insecurity, and a myriad of other social injustices,” wrote Meraw.

This was the first Laudato Si’ Contest in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Over 300 students participated from various schools in the three counties.