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12 Students Named First-Place Winners in 17th Annual
“Try Prayer” Contest with nearly 3,000 Entries

Family Rosary has announced the winners of the 2011 “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest. The 17th annual national competition – which encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose – attracted nearly 3,000 finalist entries from across the country.

Each year, approximately 32,000 children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes and other Catholic organizations utilize their creative skills to illustrate a different faith-based theme. This year, the theme was Fear not, I am with you! Students from kindergarten through 12th grade creatively depicted in various art forms how their families are united through prayer and faith.

This year’s theme is based on the Second Joyful Mystery, The Visitation, when Mary visits Elizabeth after the angel Gabriel tells her of God’s plan. During the visit, Mary comforts her cousin and helps her as she awaits the birth of her child. This Manifest Mystery teaches us the importance of friendship in the sharing of Christ’s love.

“Visiting with others is an opportunity to offer ourselves in charity and service to our neighbors when necessary,” said Father John Phalen, CSC, President. “When we do so, we know we can count on Jesus to be there: ‘Fear not, I am with you!’ In sharing or ourselves in friendship, we share the love of Jesus and Mary with others.”

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, and adherence to rules.

In the United States, up to three winners are chosen per grade: first-place winners are awarded $100 U.S., while the sponsoring organization earns $100 U.S and the “Think Good Thoughts” DVD. Runners-up in Grades 6-12 get the “You Will See” DVDs while Grades K-5 receive “The Life of Christ” DVD series from Holy Cross Family Ministries.

The 2013 “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest is already underway. This year’s theme is Joy to the World! – based on the Third Joyful Mystery, The Nativity, when Mary gives birth to Jesus in the manger in Bethlehem. Teachers, parents and students can download the registration form at For more information, contact Family Rosary at 800-299-7729.

The “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest derives its name from an experience in Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton’s 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.

This experience – coupled with his spiritually rich family life as a youth in Ireland – inspired Father Peyton to devote his life to Mary, Mother of God, and to the spiritual well-being of the family. His famous slogan, “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together,” still resonates today.

To see all the winning entries: