Students answer: ‘How is Christ Present in the World?’

| Eric Simon for The Catholic Spirit | May 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

Students throughout the archdiocese were asked to respond to this question in the annual Center for Mission Writing Contest. After receiving hundreds of submissions from schools and parishes throughout the archdiocese, four students in each of four grade categories have been selected and have received their awards.

Essays and drawings were judged for their creativity, originality, organization and effective communication. Individual returned missioners and Center for Mission staff judged the submissions. As in previous years there were many excellent entries; however these four stood out among their peers.

The winners are:

  • Greta Feist, Grade 3, St. Bernard Catholic School, Cologne.
  • Logan Cloutier, Grade 6, Faith­­ful Shepherd Catholic School, Eagan.
  • Rachel Restrepo, Grade 7, St. Therese Catholic School, Deephaven.
  • Michelle Castaneda, Grade 12, Cris­to Rey Jesuit High School, Minneapolis.

All the winning essays communicated a unique view of Christ’s presence in the world and many described experiences from the heart. For example, Logan Cloutier discovered the presence of Christ’s love in the community that supported his family during his mother’s cancer treatments. His transformative experience gave him an appreciation for what it meant to love your neighbor and learned the importance of helping others, of being the presence of Christ for others.

Third-grader Greta Feist saw the presence of Christ everywhere in nature. Her remarkably well-drawn submission showed a variety of animals living together peacefully, as in the Kingdom of God. Greta is a 5th generation student at St. Bernard.

Rachel Restrepo and Michelle Castaneda experienced the presence of Christ through the good works and love that others demonstrated. Rachel saw Christ in her school among students when they treated each other with “dignity and respect.”

Rachel described one example, “I see Christ when I see students welcoming new students with openness.” She also mentioned instances of kindness and justice in the community and around the world through acts of charity and heroism.

Michelle, encountered Christ in prayer stating, “Christ left this world physically but, through prayer, He is still present.” She also emphasized Christ’s presence in good works and service to aid the most vulnerable, as Christ would do.

For more information and winning entries, go to

Eric Simon is mission promotions manager for the Center for Mission.

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