The 2024 Respect Life Essay Contest is underway! 

The Respect Essay Contest is underway! This will be the 34th year of the Archdiocesan Respect Life Essay Contest.  All students that live and/or attend school in the Archdiocese of San Francisco can participate, including those in Catholic school, public school, and home school.

The questions are grade-appropriate and tied to a specific theme each year. For 2024, the Respect Life Essay Contest theme is “Adoption as a concrete way of Love.”  This year’s essay raises awareness of the beauty of adoption. Giving a child a family means giving them hope, love, and belonging, which we all desire. 

This contest is a gentle way of raising awareness about different topics that pertain to the dignity of the human person, and a great opportunity for students to show their creativity in writing and drawing. Past themes have included “Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the Unborn”, “Open Wide your hearts; Pastoral Letter against Racism”, “Life is a Blessing: The Dignity of Children with Down syndrome”, to name a few.

Adopting children, regarding and treating them as one’s own children, means recognizing that the relationship between parents and children is not measured only by genetic standards. Procreative love is first and foremost a gift of self. There is a form of ‘procreation’ which occurs through acceptance, concern and devotion. The resulting relationship is so intimate and enduring that it is in no way inferior to one based on a biological connection. When this is also juridically protected, as it is in adoption, in a family united by the stable bond of marriage, it assures the child that peaceful atmosphere and that paternal and maternal love which he needs for his full human development.”

St. Pope John Paul II

All winners in the K-12 contest will win cash prices! And both winners and honorable mention families will be invited to a special Mass and reception with Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone in the spring. It is a very nice way for individual students, schools, and parishes to receive recognition.

Contest information can be found here:

We look forward to receiving many entries, and to continue with the tradition of exploring the various topics that foster the love for all things that enhance the value of the human person in all its forms and stages in life.