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Madison Warren of Owensboro, Ken., was named a winner in the 2013 “Try Prayer! It Works!” Contest. She tied for first place in the 6th Grade category. The national completion is sponsored by Family Rosary. For more information, go to


See all the winning entries:

14 Students Named First-Place Winners in 18th Annual
“Try Prayer” Contest with nearly 3,000 Entries

Family Rosary has announced the winners of the 2013 “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest. The 18th annual national competition – which encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose – attracted nearly 1,100 finalist entries from across the country.

Each year, approximately 22,000 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 Joy to the World! 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 Third Joyful Mystery, The Nativity, with Jesus, Mary and Joseph participating in the ultimate family moment. This sharing of love for the birth of His Son shows God’s hope that the faithful will always be united in compassion and caring as a family.

“The lesson of The Nativity helps us appreciate the importance of family, caring and God’s unconditional love,” said Father John Phalen, CSC, President of Family Rosary. “The Third Joyful Mystery of the Rosary teaches us that joyful compassion for all God’s people is essential to a strong faith. When we embrace this, we truly know the meaning of ‘Joy to the World!’”

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 2014 “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest is already underway. This year’s theme is Lord, I believe; Help my unbelief – based on the Fourth Joyful Mystery, The Presentation in the Temple, when Simeon recognizes Jesus as the Messiah. Teachers, parents and students can download the registration form at For more information, contact Family Rosary at 800-299-7729.

Family Rosary was founded in 1942 by the late Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC. 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.

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.

In the spirit of its founder, Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, Holy Cross Family Ministries serves Jesus Christ and His church by promoting and supporting the spiritual well-being of the family. Faithful to Mary, the Mother of God, the Family Rosary in the United States, a member ministry, encourages family prayer, especially the Rosary. For more information, call 800-299-7729 or visit