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The 1st place drawing by grade 5 student Kelly Ann Morrissey of St. John the Evangelist School, Canton in the Family Rosary 2012 "Try Prayer! It Works!" contest. Courtesy photo

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Canton student takes first place in national 'Try Prayer' contest

Kelly Ann Morrissey of St. John the Evangelist School in Canton was the 1st place winner for 5th grade in the Family Rosary 2012 "Try Prayer! It Works!" contest.

The 17th annual national competition -- which encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose -- is sponsored by Holy Cross Family Ministries and attracted nearly 3,000 finalist entries from across the country. Up to three awards are presented per grade. First-place winners receive a $100 prize, and the sponsoring organization receives $100 U.S and the "Think Good Thoughts" DVD.

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.

Father Devine receives Knights' 2012 Lantern Award

Father William Devine, former military chaplain and pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas in Bridgewater, received the 2012 Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus Lantern Award at the 112th Annual Patriots' Day Dinner in Framingham.

After 14 years with the Archdiocese of Boston, Father Devine served 22 years with the Navy and Marine Corp. as a chaplain. In that time, he served three tours in Iraq and served in overseas assignments including many tours aboard naval ships.

Father Devine becomes the 56th Lantern Award Recipient among notable recipients such as Cardinals O'Malley, Cushing, O'Connor, Law, Spellman and Medeiros.

St. Sebastian's hosts local poet

NEEDHAM -- In honor of National Poetry Month, St. Sebastian's School in Needham hosted poet Paul Mariani on April 25.

The school welcomed the public to attend the free John P. Birmingham, Jr. '59 Lecture Series.

Mariani earned his bachelor's degree from Manhattan College, a Master's from Colgate University, and a Ph.D. from the City University of New York.

He is the author of six poetry collections: "Deaths and Transfigurations" (Paraclete Press, 2005), "The Great Wheel" (W. W. Norton, 1996), "Salvage Operations: New and Selected Poems" (1990), "Prime Mover" (1985), "Crossing Cocytus" (1982), and "Timing Devices" (1979). He has also published numerous books of prose and has earned many awards and honors for his works. He was a professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for over thirty years, and he currently holds a chair in poetry at Boston College.

Saint Joseph Preparatory High School appoints first head of school

Veteran administrator and teacher Thomas E. Nunan Jr. last month was named the first head of school at Saint Joseph Preparatory High School.

The school will open its doors in September when Brighton's Mount Saint Joseph Academy and Newton's Trinity Catholic High School combine to form the new secondary school.

Nunan is currently chairman of the Theology Department at St. Sebastian's School in Needham, where he has served in a variety of capacities since 1985. Nunan has supervised and evaluated teachers, implemented professional development and evaluation practices, and overseen curriculum development. He has led two successful New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation studies for the school.

A co-leader of the St. Sebastian's campus ministry program, Nunan directs the senior class community service program and an award-winning service program that has aided the city of New Orleans.

"Tom Nunan's passion is the pursuit of excellence in Catholic education," said Sister Mary L. Murphy, president of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. "His vision gives life to the spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph, which seeks excellence tempered by gentleness. I am confident Saint Joseph Preparatory High School is the right place for Mr. Nunan and he is the right leader for this new school."

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