Entries sought for Christmas artwork contest

When 13 year old Marissa Perrotta, then a seventh grader from St. John the Evangelist Parish in Winthrop entered last year’s annual Holy Childhood Association (HCA) national Christmas Artwork Contest, she never expected to be chosen as a winner.

“It was a lot of fun; it didn’t matter to me if I won or not,” Marissa said. “I like art and I like to help charities. When I heard about the contest through my parish, I decided to enter.” Marissa’s artwork, one of 24 chosen nationally, featured the Three Kings and was inspired by a painting that she saw of the Magi bringing their gifts to the Christ Child.

Every year, over 10,000 students in Catholic schools, parish religious education and home school programs from dioceses across the United States enter the contest. The winning artwork is displayed at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., during Advent and Christmas. Winners and their families are also honored at a special Mass celebrated by Msgr. John E. Kozar, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, parent organization of the Holy Childhood Association.

In addition, winning designs are featured on the national website of the Holy Childhood Association (www.hcakids.org ) and can be sent as e-greetings. The Grand Prize Winner’s artwork is made into a Christmas card that is used by Msgr. Kozar and is sent to the Societies’ benefactors and friends. “The artwork of these young missionaries is a great testament to their faith -- and to their commitment to sharing the “Good News” of Jesus’ birth with all the world,” said Msgr. Kozar.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2008-2009 Christmas Artwork Contest.

Entry forms and rules for the contest are available on-line at www.hcakids.org or by emailing mheil@propfaithatboston.org. All entries must be submitted to the national office of the Pontifical Mission Societies at 366 5th Avenue, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10001 by January 31, 2009.

Although Marissa says she was “happy and proud” to win, she urges all young Catholic artists to enter this year’s contest: “It feels good to use your God-given talent to help others.”