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Try prayer! it works!

Syracuse's Annemarie Wolken of Bishop Grimes wins contest

Family Rosary has selected Annemarie Wolken of Bishop Grimes Junior-Senior High School in Syracuse, as a first-place winner in the Grade 10 division of the 2008 U.S. "Try Prayer! It Works!" contest, a national competition that encourages students to express their faith through art, poetry and prose. Wolkens was selected from more than 3,000 entries and more than 50,000 participants in the 13th annual contest.

Each year, 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 Following in the Footsteps of the Saints and students from kindergarten through 12th grade creatively depicted in various art forms how they honor these holy people by learning from the examples of their experiences.

For her award-winning entry, Wolkens submitted a poem entitled "Follow in Their Foot Prints" about the teachings of many of the saints.

Wolkens, a 15-year-old, lives in Syracuse. She is in the 10th grade at Bishop Grimes Junior-Senior High School, located in the Diocese of Syracuse. Among her many interests are writing, drawing, soccer, ice skating and kayaking. French and art are her favorite subjects in school.

"The contest enables children of all ages to express creatively the importance of faith in their daily lives," said Father John Phalen, CSC, President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. "Following in the footsteps of Mary and the other saints, who follow those of Jesus, is a profound occasion for children to examine their spirituality. This contest provides students with a means to show how the lessons of the lives of the saints are still important to us today. All of the entries demonstrate how prayer, thought and creativity are an inspiration to young and old."

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, Peru, Ireland, Chile, Haiti and the Philippines. Entries are judged on content, ability to capture and interpret the theme, artistic and technical proficiency, and adherence to rules.

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