Culture of Life

YA 21st Annual Pro-life Essay Contest Is On!

Peter Clem No Comments

ProLife-thumb-170x170-2457

The Youth Apostles Institute is holding its 21st annual pro-life essay contest! The theme is “Be Pro-life Because…”

Through the contest, we hope to provide a means by which young people may express their pro-life beliefs and the values they have been taught. We also hope to provide an activity that may find to be a useful supplement or complement to classroom instruction, ministry, and home instruction.

There will be two divisions: Junior (grades 7 and 8) and Senior (grades 9-12). Prizes include first place ($100), second place ($75), and third place ($50). Honorable mention certificates also will be awarded.

Entries may be on paper or in electronic form and are to be up to 400 words long. They must include:unborn baby

* Name

* Grade level

* School OR youth group/youth community OR parish if home schooled

* School address OR parish address OR home address if home schooled

Entries must address the topic and express a pro-life view embracing respect for unborn

human life. Entries must be mailed, delivered, or sent by e-mail by Monday, April 20, 2015 to:

John Iekel

Youth Apostles Institute

1600 Carlin Lane

McLean, Virginia 22101

E-mail address: jfiekel@gmail.com

If they are to be delivered, please call (703) 556-0914 to notify.

All entries become the property of the Youth Apostles Institute and will not be returned.

If you have any questions, please leave a message at (703) 556-0914.

March for Life 2015

Peter Clem No Comments

march 2

Yesterday, thousands gathered together for the annual March for Life, consisting primarily of young people. It was with great joy that we began the day at the Life is VERY Good Rally at the Patriot Center in Fairfax with about 7,000 other Catholics to celebrate Mass. We took about 35 youth from All Saints in Manasas, VA. It was truly inspiring to see these young people excited to marchbe fired up about being ProLife. They had much enthusiasm to be there despite being a long day of walking and traveling. After Mass and a delicious Chick-fil-a lunch, we drove down into DC for the March. Despite packing the streets with many strangers, there was definitely a feeling of unity and love, standing for the dignity of every human life from conception to natural death. There was many groups present ranging from babies to elderly, West coast to East, Catholics to those of other faiths.  I particularly enjoyed the conversations with the various teens about the struggles of being ProLife in a world that persecutes us for our beliefs, watching them see that they are not alone in this world but are in fact surrounded by many others. One teen asked me how someone could actually justify something as horrible as abortion. The way that she asked with such innocence and the look of horror on her face truly touched my heart. Even one so young could see the injustice and not understand how we have come to this place in our nation. She gave me hope that this generation will be the answer to the culture of death.

 

Below is Fr. Jack expressing why Youth Apostles has been so invested in promoting the dignity of every human person since its foundation. Be sure to check it out and follow us on Youtube.

Youth Apostles Pro-life Poster Contest Winners Named!

Peter Clem No Comments
Senior Division First Place Entry

Senior Division First Place: Jisoo Shin, Paul VI High School

Junior Division First Place: Sarah Przybysz, St. Joseph's School (Herndon)

Junior Division First Place: Sarah Przybysz, St. Joseph’s School (Herndon)

With the March for Life being one week away, Youth Apostles is happy to announce the winners in the 16th annual Youth Apostles Prolife Poster Contest. The theme was “Welcome Unborn Life.”

There were 494 entries. Participants came from the following schools: John Paul the Great High School, Paul VI High School, Angelus Academy, Holy Family School, Holy Spirit School, Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Heart Academy, St. James School, St. John Academy, St. John the Evangelist School, St. Joseph’s School, St. Michael’s School and St. Theresa School.

The entries were beautiful artistic expressions of support for the sanctity of unborn human life and understanding of what a gift it is. Not only that, it is inspiring that so many youth used their God-given talent to convey their beliefs and principles.

The first place winners are available for printing and use during the March for Life.

The winners are as follows:

SENIOR DIVISION: 

First Place: Jisoo Shin, Paul VI High School

Second Place: Kim Rieder, Paul VI High School

Third Place: Lucas Jung, Paul VI High School

Third Place: Katie Hogge, Paul VI High School

Honorable Mention:

Rachel Burkhardt, Paul VI High School

Hyunjoo Kim, Paul VI High School

Monica Lawrence, Paul VI High School

Rachel Burkhardt, Paul VI High School

Katherine Manalo, Paul VI High School

Jennifer Preston, Paul VI High School

JUNIOR DIVISION:

First Place: Sarah Przybysz, St. Joseph’s School (Herndon)

Second Place: Schuyler Workmaster, St. John Academy

Third Place: Annie Hansen, Angelus Academy

Third Place: Aurora Slovensky, Our Lady of Good Counsel School

Honorable Mention: 

Grace DiLuigi, St. Theresa School

Grace Dwinnell, St. Theresa School

Sophia Fayer, Our Lady of Good Counsel School

Michelle Hadad, Our Lady of Good Counsel School

Chloe Martin, Our Lady of Good Counsel School

Caitlin Nalda, Angelus Academy

Mary Stratton, St. Theresa School

Lily Tran, Angelus Academy

Bridget Vaughey, Our Lady of Good Counsel School

Regan Willis, St. Theresa School

Youth Apostles Pro-Life Poster Contest is On!

Peter Clem No Comments

The Youth Apostles Institute is holding its 16th annual pro-life poster contest!

The theme for the contest:

“Welcome Unborn Life!” 

Through the contest, we hope to provide a means by which young people may express their pro-life beliefs and the values they have been taught at school, in ministry and at home. We also hope to provide an activity that teachers may find to be a useful supplement or complement to classroom instruction.

unborn baby

There will be two divisions: Junior (grades 7 and 8) and Senior (grades 9-12). Prizes include first place ($100), second place ($75), third place ($50) and honorable mention certificates.

Rules:

  • Entries may be on 8.5″x11″ or larger size paper, or on posterboard.

  • Electronic entries also accepted!

  • Entries must address the topic and express a view supporting the sanctity of unborn human life

  • Entries must be a participant’s original work.

  • Entries must include:

Name
School or parish
Grade level
School address or home address

Entries must be mailed or delivered by Monday, November 17, 2014 to: John Iekel, Youth Apostles Institute, 1600 Carlin Lane, McLean, VA 22101. Entries sent via email go to jfiekel@gmail.com.

If you would like a poster you may click on the following link: YA Poster Contest Flyer

If entries are to be delivered, call (703) 556-0914 to notify.

Entries become the property of the Youth Apostles Institute and will not be returned. Questions? Call (703) 556-0914.

2014 Pro-Life Essay Contest Winners

John Lilly No Comments

Junior Division First Place

Arianna Z. Tilley

Angelus Academy

In Matthew 5:13, the Gospel explains that we should be “salt of the earth” but not live in the world. In other words, we must not get trapped in the world’s troubles, but rather work to draw the world to God. One of the many troubles that the world has today that prevents us from fulfilling this mission is the lack of protection for life. To help make out world a universal “culture of life,” we must reach one heart at a time through prayer and action.

Prayer is the most important means to build a “culture of life.” During prayer, we lift our hearts and minds to God. Thus, praying for those who abuse the gift of life is a good way to reach their hearts. This will allow God’s love to penetrate their hearts.

After all, Pope John Paul II did say that the prayers of children are very powerful. Although our prayers as the children of God are powerful, they are often not answered right away. Thus, we must pray with perseverance (always). Prayer is an indirect and powerful way of reaching many hearts; however, the right actions are also important to fulfill our mission to build a “culture of life.”

It is often said that actions speak louder than words. We must live out our faith as Catholics, showing what it truly means to be pro-life and treasure the gift of life from God. Some ways that we can show our commitment to the culture of life include voting for pro-life candidates, having rallies, and participating in programs such as 40 days for life. Many politicians have great influential speeches, but they only go so far. For example, the candidates may have the passion, but they don’t have the strong deep conviction that we need to have in debates on the pro-life issues.

The deep conviction that we have as Catholics has the ability to carry a far deeper meaning and it sends it into the hearts and minds of others. We can also use our powerful speech and our actions to create a culture of life in our daily lives. This can also play a great effect on our culture of life, because we are setting a good example for others who may not be pro-life and may gain interest in doing so.

Creating a culture that is full of life and happiness, through prayer and action, will bring peace to us and everyone around us who sees and is drawn to it. Using prayer and action, along with our gifts and talents, and doing it patiently, and with loving kindness, we can ultimately build a culture of life that will endure and spread for generations to come.

 

Senior Division First Place

Courtney Check

Paul VI High School

A culture of life can be built in many ways because each individual and every family in the world is completely unique and, so, their pro-life views may be used much like paintbrushes in the hands of an artist to paint a beautiful picture reflecting God’s love and truth. Some families may welcome many children into the world, while others may adopt one or two or not have any children at all. It is not the size of one’s family that makes it pro-life, but rather its mentality.

To be pro-life means to love life! A pro-life person sees God’s goodness in every single human being. It does not matter how young, old, sickly, or disabled one is. Indeed, these are the most vulnerable groups in society. Pro-life people see the beauty and goodness in these frailties and in all God’s children who they know have value and worth. They fully recognize that every human being born into this world is worthy of being treated with dignity and respect. It is this behavior, loving all God’s children, that embodies and radiates God and His affection to the world. This is the only thing that will ever build up the culture of life.

Many artists can paint different landscapes, but the one thing that they all have in common is light. For, in the dark, nothing can be seen. It is black. Likewise, in building a culture of life, each person and family must have the light of God with them. For, if they do not, it is impossible to see, to love, as one should.

This should not cause fear. God is never far away. He said, “Knock and the door shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7). He resides in every human heart and all one needs to do is seek the Lord and He will reveal Himself, give light, so that one will understand, know, and adore Him more. Additionally, reading and studying the Bible can help one intellectually comprehend God at a deeper level – for ignorance is not a virtue. It is important to desire spiritual growth as one progresses through life.

Yet, it is more important to “do” than to “know.” If we, Catholics, wish to build up a culture of life, it will only be done by “behaving our way to success” or loving others because of our personal love for and devotion to God. Actions speak so much louder than words. This, in turn, will open the hearts of those who disagree with us so that maybe a little seed will get in — and seeking truth themselves, they will find God who sends light and grace for them to blossom and grow.

15th Annual Pro-Life Poster Contest

John Lilly No Comments

        The Youth Apostles Institute Announces its…

15th Annual Pro-life Poster Contest

 

Theme: Life – The Best Choice

 

Two divisions:

  1. Junior (grades 7 & 8)
  2. Senior (grades 9-12)

Prizes:

  1. First Place ($100)
  2. Second Place ($75)
  3. Third Place ($50)
  4. Honorable Mention certificates

 

AND! First Place posters will be made available for use in the  March for Life!

Rules

  • Use 8.5”x11” or larger size paper, or posterboard
  • Electronic submissions also fine!
  • Entries must be participants’ original work
  • Info to include if participating through a school: include name, grade level, school, and school address
  • If participating through a parish or youth group: include name, grade, parish/group, home address
  • Address the theme! Entries must address the theme and express respect for unborn human life
  • Where they go: Entries must be mailed or delivered by Monday, November 18, 2013 to:
    • John Iekel, Youth Apostles Institute, 1600 Carlin Lane, McLean, VA 22101
    • Entries sent via e-mail go to: jfiekel@gmail.com

 

Entries become property of the Youth Apostles Institute and will not be returned.

Questions? Leave a message at (703) 556-0914 

Winning Pro-Life Posters Announced

Chris Johnson No Comments

Winning entries in the 14th annual Youth Apostles Pro-life Poster Contest have been selected.

This year 433 students participated in the contest, the most ever submitted in one year. Judges noted a marked improvement in the overall quality of the entries. The theme was “I Formed You in the Womb.”

The Youth Apostles poster contest provides young artists an opportunity to use their creative gifts to express their pro-life values and apply what they have learned at home, at school and through their parishes and youth ministry programs.

Gracie Tecala, OLGC, 1st place, junior division

Gracie Tecala, OLGC, 1st place, junior division

The winners in this year’s contest are as follows:

JUNIOR DIVISION

First Place — Gracie Tecala, 7th grade, Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Vienna, Va.
Second Place — Kelsie Loesch, 8th grade, Our Lady of Good Counsel School
Third Place — Katie O’Brien, 8th grade, Our Lady of Good Counsel School

Honorable Mention:
Kristen Jones, 7th grade, Our Lady of Good Counsel School
John McClorey, 8th grade, Our Lady of Good Counsel School
Isabella Miranda, Our Lady of Good Counsel School
Helen Wingate, 7th grade, Sacred Heart Academy, Winchester, Va.

SENIOR DIVISION

First Place — Brooke Sullivan, 12th grade, Paul VI High School, Fairfax, Va.
Second Place — Haley Munn, 10th grade, Paul VI High School
Third Place — Katie Eastman, 11th grade, Paul VI High School

Brooke Sullivan, Paul VI, 1st place, senior division

Brooke Sullivan, Paul VI, 1st place, senior division

Honorable Mention:
Gaby Coan, 9th grade, Paul VI High School
Becca Kim Hyunjoo, 9th grade, Paul VI High School
Danielle Issing, 12th grade, Paul VI High School
Jessica Sydow, 9th grade, John Paul the Great High School
Christine VandeHouten, 10th grade, Paul VI High School grade
Christine VanTorsch, 10th grade, John Paul the Great High School
Tiffany Vo, 11th grade, Paul VI High School
Abigail Williams, 11th grade, John Paul the Great High School

YA Retreat 2013 – Increase Our Faith

Chris Johnson No Comments

Youth Apostles gather in the Roslyn Retreat Center chapel.

Youth Apostles gather in the Roslyn Retreat Center chapel.

Some 80 Youth Apostles returned home Sunday (1/6) from the community’s annual retreat, a four-day dive into the silence and prayerful rigors of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

This year the retreat took place at the Roslyn Retreat Center near Richmond, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The theme, taken from the Apostles’ petition to Jesus Christ in Luke 17:5, “Increase our faith,” was selected to coincide with the Year of Faith that Pope Benedict XVI launched last October.

The Exercises are structured on a four-week cycle of  meditations and reflections the Spanish founder of the Jesuits developed in the 16th century. One week each is dedicated to probing sinfulness, forging resolutions for a life of cooperation with grace and reflecting both on the events of Christ’s passion and death and his resurrection. St. Ignatius is one of Youth Apostles’ three patrons, along with St. Francis of Assisi and St. John Bosco.

The weekend is designed to help retreatants grow in their capacity to live their respective vocations as priests or as consecrated, married or single laymen, and to reinvigorate their commitment to bring young people to Christ in the Catholic Church.

At the last of four Masses celebrated during the retreat 14 Youth Apostles renewed their Candidate or Full Member commitments. Candidates Nick Basinger, Ben Fleser, Jose Gil-Figueroa, Andrew Heller, Jonathan Kohn, Peter Maurer, Sean Mazary and Joey McDermott renewed their promises for one year. Full Members Paul Bevins, Anthony Foster Michael Galdo, Andrew Hadinger, Byron Wiedeman and Jacob Znachko each renewed their promises for five years.

In the days ahead, we will post excerpts from talks and reflections the brothers prepared for their collective praying of the Liturgy of the Hours and a special meditation on the Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross.

YA Announces Pro-Life Poster Contest

Chris Johnson No Comments

The Youth Apostles Institute is holding its 14th annual pro-life poster contest!

The theme for the contest is “I Formed You in the Womb.”

Through the contest, we hope to provide a means by which young people may express their pro-life beliefs and the values they have been taught at school, in ministry,and at home. We also hope to provide an activity that teachers may find to be a useful supplement or complement to classroom instruction.

There will be two divisions: Junior (grades 7 and 8) and Senior (grades 9-12).

Prizes include first place ($100 U.S. Savings Bond), second place ($75 U.S. Savings Bond), and third place ($50 U.S. Savings Bond). Honorable mention certificates also will be awarded.

AND: First place posters will be made available for use in the March for Life!

RULES:

  • Entries may be on 8.5″x11″ or larger size paper, or on posterboard.
  • Entries also may be electronic!
  • Entries must address the topic and express a view supporting the sanctity of unborn human life.
  • Entries must be a participant’s original work.
  • Entries must include name; grade level; school OR youth group/youth community OR parish if home schooled; school address OR parish address OR home address if home schooled

Entries must be mailed or delivered by Tuesday, November 27, 2012 to:

John Iekel
Youth Apostles Institute
1600 Carlin Lane
McLean, Virginia 22101
jfiekel@gmail.com

If entries are to be delivered, please call (703) 556-0914 to notify.

All entries become the property of the Youth Apostles Institute and will not be returned.

If you have any questions, please leave a message at (703) 556-0914.

La Mancha Soars As Both Theater And Ministry

Chris Johnson No Comments

 

It takes dozens of people working toward a common purpose to put on a big musical like The Man of La Mancha.

Maybe that’s what gives a theatrical production so much potential as a ministry. It inspires people, draws them outside of themselves and brings them together in a kind of communion.

It helps, of course, when the story is about seeing the beauty in the essence of the other, as Don Quixote does with his lady. She may be the lowly Aldonza to everyone else, including herself, but to her knight she is the peerless Dulcinea. Nothing shakes his way of seeing her. And that is the essence of Christian seeing — how Christ sees each one of us and how we are called to see one another.

Several Youth Apostles played their parts — Joey Clem as Don Quixote himself and Father Peter Nassetta, YA, (above, at left) as The Padre. Rob Tessier, coordinator of youth ministry at All Saints parish in Manassas, Va., directed the show, which ran July 18-22.

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