Catholic students from across the Diocese of Phoenix submitted more than 3,000 entries to this year’s Rosary Sunday Celebration Poster Contest.
Twenty-four first place winners visited the Diocesan Pastoral Center Nov. 8 for a Mass with Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. The winners then joined the bishop for a pizza luncheon.
Bishop Olmsted met with each of the winners present and discussed the Blessed Mother and the participant’s artwork, if it was available.
“I see you chose blonde hair for the Blessed Mother,” he remarked to Lina Vanderwey, the St. Francis Xavier fifth grader who won for her depiction of the Virgin Mary. Vanderwey said she preferred her this way.
Hessed Martinez, a sixth grader at St. Jerome, explained his depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the bishop. Many of the students drew Our Lady of Fatima, the apparition honored at this years Arizona Rosary Celebration last month.
Dorothy Westfall, founder of Radio Family Rosary and Rosary Sunday, said the poster contest has a lasting impact on the children. She spoke of one young man who, inspired by the contest, discerned his calling to the priesthood.