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Catholic School Scholarship Award

The Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County (“CBN-MC”) is delighted to announce its 24nd Annual Catholic School Scholarship Awards.  We invite all eligible Montgomery County Catholic Schools to participate.  The selection process is new this year.  Please read the instructions carefully.  The rules and procedures are set forth below.  Each school's top essays MUST BE RECEIVED by January 26, 2024.  

CBN-MC will award scholarships to SEVENTH grade students selected for the quality of their essays. The awards will be presented at The Scholarship Awards Breakfast, to be held in April 2024. All winners, their parents, principals & pastors are invited as our guests at this event. The winners will have their scholarship checks sent directly to their schools to contribute towards their eighth grade year tuition. 

 

Eligibility

 To be eligible, students must be entering a Washington Area Catholic Middle School as an 8th grader in the Fall of 2024. 

Rules

Schools must submit their top 3-5 essays by January 26th, 2024. In order to be eligible the following rules must be followed:
● Each eligible school will receive the prompt in November. Each participating school will distribute the prompt to the eligible 7th graders. The schools may use this as an assignment, but ungraded and unedited essays should be submitted to CBN-MC. PARENTS AND STUDENTS WILL BE ASKED TO SIGN A CERTIFICATION WITH THEIR ESSAY THAT THIS IS THE STUDENT’S OWN WORK PRODUCT.
● The Essay must be no more than 500 words, typewritten using Times New Roman or Courier, minimum 12 point font, double spaced and must be the student’s own work.
● The essay must be well written and should be judged by the 7th grade teacher, or other school leader, on style and grammar, clarity of content, innovation and creativity, and conformity with the topic.
Each school is to select the top 3-5 essays for submission. The selected essays should be submitted in duplicate and have a cover page with the student’s name, address, phone number, email address of the parents, the name of the school or parish and must be SIGNED by the student AND parent/guardian as follows, “We certify that the attached essay is my own work product that has not otherwise been edited or revised.” The duplicates should be in one stack and the originals in another to ensure blind judging.
All essays submitted will become the property of CBN-MC. CBN-MC reserves the right to make all final decisions regarding eligibility. In the event for any reason the winners do not attend an area Catholic Middle School, the runners up in that category will receive the scholarship.
● Each participating school should send the essay packages to the Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County at: P. O. Box 34549, Bethesda, MD 20827
● All entries must be received by January 26th, 2024. Winners will be notified in March.

Essay Prompt

CBN ESSAY PROMPT: 

On Friday, October 27, 2023, at the Conclusion of the Pacem in Terris Holy Hour at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis called upon the Blessed Virgin Mother to aid us at this time of conflict in the world. He was specifically speaking about the conflict in the Holy Land between Israel and Hamas.  (Full transcript below.)

 

In his prayer for peace, the Holy Father reflected upon many passages of scripture which he used to demonstrate the Blessed Virgin Mary’s approach to peace, even in times of conflict and sorrow. Reflect upon these moments where Mary acted in faith to bring peace: 

 

  • When there was no place at the inn on the night of Jesus’s birth
  • When Mary fled to Egypt because Herod sought to kill the baby Jesus
  • When Jesus was missing and was found in the Temple
  • When Mary visited Elizabeth after being visited by the angel Gabriel
  • When Mary asked Jesus to perform his first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana
  • When Mary kept the disciples united in the Upper Room
  • When on Calvary Mary watched the crucifixion of her beloved Son


Consider what the call for prayer for peace from Pope Francis means for you. How can you follow the Holy Father’s example in praying for peace? Are your actions an example of your faith?  Reflect on your actions. The Holy Father has said that our actions are a message to the world of who we are and in what we believe.


Consider the following questions as you share in your essay how you can respond to the Holy Father’s request for us to pray for peace in the world and to pray to Our Lady Queen of Peace to intercede for us. In no more than 500 words, address the following: 

 

  • As young men and young women, how can you model your lives after Mary’s examples which Pope Francis reflected upon in his Prayer for Peace?
  • At whatever times in history has Mary brought people to prayer during times of conflict? Lourdes? Fatima? Others?
  • Give at least one example of how you can respond to the Holy Father’s call for Prayer for Peace.
  • Does attending a Catholic school support you as you respond to the Holy Father’s call?

 

PRAYER OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS at the Conclusion of the Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) Holy Hour

Saint Peter’s Basilica, Friday, October 27, 2023

 

Mary, look at us! We stand here before you. You are our Mother, and you know our struggles and our hurts. Queen of Peace, you suffer with us and for us, as you see so many of your children suffering from the conflicts and wars that are tearing our world apart.

 

This is a dark hour. This is a dark hour, Mother. In this dark hour, we look to you, and in the light of your countenance we entrust ourselves and our problems to your maternal Heart, which knows our anxieties and fears. How great was your concern when there was no place for Jesus at the inn! How great was your fear when you fled in haste to Egypt because Herod sought to kill him! How great was your anguish before you found him in the Temple! Yet, Mother, amid those trials, you showed your strength, you acted boldly: you trusted in God and responded to concern with tender care, to fear with love, to anguish with acceptance. Mother, you did not step back, but at decisive moments you always took initiative: with haste you visited Elizabeth; at the wedding feast of Cana you prompted Jesus’ first miracle; in the Upper Room you kept the disciples united. And when, on Calvary, a sword pierced your heart, Mother, by your humility and strength you kept alive the hope of Easter through the night of sorrow.

 

Now, Mother, once more take the initiative for us, in these times rent by conflicts and laid waste by the fire of arms. Turn your eyes of mercy towards our human family, which has strayed from the path of peace, preferred Cain to Abel and lost the ability to see each other as brothers and sisters dwelling in a common home. Intercede for our world, in such turmoil and great danger. Teach us to cherish and care for life – each and every human life! – and to repudiate the folly of war, which sows death and eliminates the future.

 

Mary, how many times have you come, urging prayer and repentance. Yet, caught up in our own needs and distracted by the things of this world, we have turned a deaf ear to your appeal. In your love for us, you never abandon us, Mother. Lead us by the hand. Lead us by the hand and bring us to conversion; help us once again to put God first. Help us to preserve unity in the Church and to be artisans of communion in our world. Make us realize once more the importance of the role we play; strengthen our sense of responsibility for the cause of peace as men and women called to pray, worship, intercede and make reparation for the whole human race.

 

By ourselves, Mother, we cannot succeed; without your Son, we can do nothing. But you bring us back to Jesus, who is our Peace. Therefore, Mother of God and our Mother, we come before you and we seek refuge in your Immaculate Heart. Mother of mercy, we appeal for mercy! Queen of Peace, we appeal for peace! Touch the hearts of those imprisoned by hatred; convert those who fuel and foment conflict. Dry the tears of children – at this hour, so many are weeping! – be present to those who are elderly and alone; strengthen the wounded and the sick; protect those forced to leave their lands and their loved ones; console the crestfallen; awaken new hope.

 

To you we entrust and consecrate our lives and every fibre of our being, all that we possess and all that we are, forever. To you we consecrate the Church, so that in her witness to the love of Jesus before the world, she may be a sign of harmony and an instrument of peace. To you we consecrate our world, to you we consecrate especially those countries and regions at war.

 

Your faithful people call you the dawn of salvation; Mother, grant that glimmers of light may illumine the dark night of conflict. Dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit, inspire the leaders of nations to seek paths of peace.  Queen of all peoples, reconcile your children, seduced by evil, blinded by power and hate. You, who are close to all, shorten our distances. You, who have compassion on everyone, teach us to care for one another. You, who reveal the Lord’s tender love, make us witnesses of his consolation and peace. Mother, Queen of Peace, pour forth into our hearts God’s gift of harmony. Amen.

Due Date:

Essays should lead with a cover sheet that has the name, school and contact information of the student, as indicated above. This information will not be shared with CBN evaluators. All essays must be RECEIVED by CBN-MC, NO LATER THAN January 26th, 2024:

CBN-MC SCHOLARSHIP
P. O. Box 34549
Bethesda, MD 20827