During Heritage Month, essay, TikTok (short video) and graphic arts contests were held for students Feb. 2 through Feb. 17.
Heritage Month is a time filled with activities celebrating the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC) founders and St. John Henry Newman. It is a way to honor and celebrate Newman’s Catholic heritage and school spirit.
There were certain requirements for each category that students had to follow, but otherwise, they had creative freedom.
For the essay category, participants answered the following questions in a 1-2 page essay: “What would St. Newman and St. Maria De Mattias say to each other if they met? What would be the message for you and your classmates?”
For the TikTok category, participants created a video that showed a personal meeting between them and St. Newman or St. Maria.
The graphic arts participants needed to create any piece of visual art that communicated St. Newman’s “Lead Kindly Light” poem.
Each winner was awarded $100 for his or her work at the Newman Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 24.
Elginique Dames wins essay
Elginique Dames, a freshman, was the essay winner. She was in disbelief when Sister Therese Wetta, ASC, told her that she had won.
In her essay, Dames contemplated how St. Maria and St. Newman would interact if they met.
“The exchange would no doubt be an opportunity for both of them to reflect on their faith, discussing the importance of prayer, and how it can bring us closer to God and provide hope and guidance in times of trouble,” she wrote.
Something Dames took away from this experience is “never give up and continue to have faith in God because he will always make a way and provide. Once you put God first and everything else later, life is great.”
Kaylee McNeill wins TikTok challenge
Kaylee McNeill, a freshman, was the TikTok winner. She started the TikTok at 3 p.m. Friday, the last day of the contest. Her video was only 50 seconds long, but it was packed with knowledge. It took her 40 minutes to plan and make the whole video.
She was shocked when she found out that she had won.
In the video, when asked where St. Maria’s desire to teach came from, Kaylee thought St. Maria would respond with the following: “It would come from the idea that it would reach all sinners to purify them so that, washed in the river of mercy, they would rediscover the right way to peace and union among people.”
“It was really fun for me to write the script and plan out everything,” McNeill said.
John Suffield wins graphic arts contest
John Suffield, a senior, was the graphic arts winner during Heritage Month.
This is his second year winning this category. He loved being able to express his art last year so he jumped at the chance to participate again.
He created an acrylic painting on canvas following the prompt “Lead Kindly Light.” The painting depicts darkness with a hand pointing up to a light.
In a world where darkness is common, Suffield explained, “We as students and staff at Newman University are called to be the light and transform society for the better.”
“I am very thankful for Sister Therese for doing this every year,” Suffield said with gratitude.
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