The Nashville Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the largest Irish Catholic fraternal organization in the United States, recently honored the winners of its annual St. Patrick’s Day art contest among students of the Catholic schools in the diocese.
Second grade and sixth grade students were invited to participate in the contest, for their fifth year and inaugural year, respectively.
For the second graders, this program has been incorporated into their curriculum diocesan wide. Several weeks prior to the contest, the students receive instruction and lessons on the virtues of St. Patrick and biographical information. Then, they are asked to color a picture of St. Patrick and write an essay espousing those virtues and the lessons they learned about him.
The sixth graders also learn about St. Patrick in similar fashion but engage in a project of their choice while utilizing higher-level critical thinking skills. This year’s winners had a wide variety of submissions ranging from a beautiful watercolor painting of St. Patrick with an authentic prayer card to songs with original lyrics, including a St. Patrick rap song.
The winners in each contest received: a $500 school tuition voucher and an Irish Catholic Rosary with Shamrock Beads for first place; a $250 school tuition voucher and an Irish Catholic Rosary with Shamrock Beads for second place; and a $100 school tuition voucher and an Irish Catholic Rosary with Shamrock Beads for third place.
The second grade winners this year are:
• Gigi Simons of Holy Rosary Academy and Vivian Schiefer of Christ the King School who tied for first.
• Ruth Chinnery of St. Ann School, second place.
• Graham Gooch of St. Henry School, third place.
The sixth grade winners were:
• Sarah Speyrer of St. Rose of Lima School, first place.
• Maeve McGuire and Brynn Schultz of St. Ann, second place.
• Kane Blaszkowski of Immaculate Conception School, third place.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians draws its name from the Roman name for Ireland, Hibernia, explained Dr. John Shea, president of the Nashville Division.
“Our members are male, Catholic, and Irish, either by birth or descent,” Dr. Shea said. “The foundations of AOH are friendship, unity, and Christian charity. In the Nashville diocese, we are committed to the development of the Catholic faith and Catholic education, as well as engaging our community for charitable acts.”
For more information about the Ancient Order of Hibernians, visit www.aohnashville.org.