Family Rosary Announces Winners of 2016 "Try Prayer! It Works!" Contest


Editor’s note: We shared the news of this contest last fall, and we’re pleased to display some of the winning artwork. –Barb

13 Students Named First-Place Winners in 21st Annual “Try Prayer” Contest with nearly 2500 Entries

Family Rosary contest winner. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Family Rosary contest winner. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

EASTON, Mass. – Family Rosary announces the winners of the 2016 “Try Prayer! It Works!”contest. The 21st annual national competition – which encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose – attracted nearly 2500 entries from across the country.

Each year, approximately 25,000 children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes and other Catholic organizations use their creative skills to illustrate a different faith-based theme. This year, the theme was Who is my mother? Who are my brothers and sisters? Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade creatively depicted in various art forms how they act in faith and follow the word of God.

The contest theme this year is based on scripture. In Matthew 12:46-50, Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are waiting to speak to Him. Jesus asks, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” He then holds out His hand toward His disciples and says, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in Heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

“Scripture teaches us that we connect with Jesus by doing the will of God,” said Father Hugh Cleary, C.S.C., National Director of Family Rosary. “We must listen carefully for his direction and then do what is asked of us. It is difficult to hear God speak when we are distracted by so many other things: texting, email, commercials, friends, activities. It is important to set aside time for prayer and meditation so we can connect with God.”

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.

Family Rosary contest winner. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Family Rosary contest winner. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Entries are judged on content, ability to capture and interpret the theme, artistic and technical proficiency.

In the United States, up to three winners are chosen per grade:  first-place winners are awarded $100 U.S., and the sponsoring organization earns $100 U.S and a copy of the DVD A Dedicated Man . Runners-up in Grades 6-12 get the “Down From the Mountain” DVD, while Grades K-5 receive a copy of the Life of Christ DVD series and the sponsoring organizations  receive a copy of the DVD A Dedicated Man.

Family Rosary was founded in 1942 by the late Servant of God Patrick Peyton. 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 words, “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together,” still resonate today.

In the spirit of its founder, Servant of God Patrick Peyton, Family Rosary encourages family prayer, especially the Rosary. Family Rosary is a ministry of Holy Cross Family Ministries, which serves Jesus Christ and His church by promoting and supporting the spiritual well-being of the family. For more information, call 800-299-7729 or visit


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