House of Discernment holds essay contest in lieu of Savio Night

By Father Tyler Tenbarge
Special to The Message

When we realized that we could not have our monthly “Savio Night” at the House of Discernment because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we decided to host a competition that the boys could participate in from home.

Seven holy men were chosen as options for our middle school and high school guys to research and write essays about. The options included:

● Saint John Berchmans
● Saint José Sanchez del Rio
● Saint André Bessett
● Saint Lorenzo Ruiz
● Blessed Father Stanley Rother
● Blessed Carlo Acutis
● Venerable Father Flanagan

Dozens of young men participated, and we recruited a whole army of judges – including Catholic school teachers and principals, priests, deacons and seminarians, husbands and wives, and even the bishop! Each essay’s author was hidden from the judges, who then ranked the essays. The winners received Amazon gift cards and a photo of the holy man about whom they wrote.

And the winners are:

● Caleb Mullinex, Resurrection Parish, 6-7th grade winner
James Elpers, Good Shepherd, 6-7th grade runner-up

● Justin Rauscher, Saint John the Baptist, Newburgh, 8-12th grade winner
Aidan Mohr, Saint John the Baptist, Newburgh, 8-12th grade runner-up

Well done, guys!

Father Tenbarge is chaplain and director of the Father Deydier House of Discernment, and diocesan director of vocations.