Vatican II Symposium and Essay Contest

By Therese Porod

Photo courtesy of Benedictine Campus Ministry

Photo courtesy of Benedictine Campus Ministry

Benedictine University Ministry is currently sponsoring an essay contest open to high school and college students that will award top winners with money towards school tuition. The essays are due on February 3rd.

The top three winners of the contest will have the chance to publish their essays in the Constellation, which is BenU’s GoogleScholar online journal. Winners will also have the chance to achieve money towards tuition, as well as present their essays at the “Light of Nations: Reflecting on Vatican II” symposium on March 2nd.

According to Mark Kurowski, Director of University Ministry at Benedictine, both divisions, High School and College, award the same monetary amount in respect to placement achieved, such as $500 for first, $250 for second, and $100 for third.

“The Vatican II Essay Contest and Symposium is important to the Benedictine Community on several levels. First, it provides an opportunity for our students, Catholic and non-Catholic, to see how the Second Vatican Council impacted us as a Church and University. Secondly, it fulfills our mission to strengthen our Catholic identity. Third, it dispels a lot of false notions about Vatican II, liberal views and conservative views, and allows the Council to “breathe,” or stand, on its own,” stated Kurowski.

The essay question for 2013 is: “Lumen Gentium” calls the Church a “sacrament.” What does this mean and why does it matter?

The 2012 college winners included, 1st: Mr. Edward Trendowski, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; 2nd: Mr. Kevin Byrnes, Benedictine University, Lisle, IL; and 3rd: Mr. Sean McConnell, Benedictine University-Springfield, IL.

The 2012 High School winner was 1st: Mr. Matthew Daley, Glenbard North High School, Carol Stream, IL.

“The ability to say, ‘I was published,’ is huge,” stated Kurowski.

Visit for requirements and reward details.