Two students from area Catholic schools were selected as winners in the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) 2019-2020 National Christmas Artwork Contest. Andrea Verch, a seventh grader from the Regina Coeli Academy in Abington, and Toni Frank, an eighth grader at St. James Regional Catholic School in Ridley Park were among the 24 contests who submitted their artwork and won.
The MCA’s annual Christmas artwork contest calls upon elementary aged students in Catholic schools to submit artwork depicting Scripture-based scenes. Typically, depictions submitted showcase the Nativity scene.
It has been a few years since winners have been selected from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In normal circumstances, winners would be invited to a ceremony held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The December 16 event was instead held online, with Alixandra Holden,mission education coordinator for the archdiocesan office of the Pontifical Mission Societies, and Auxiliary Bishop John McIntyre providing pre-recorded congratulatory messages.
The archdiocesan MCA office named other local winners in addition to Verch and Frank. Hannah Pozz of St. Peter the Apostle School in Philadelphia, Pari Amin of Maternity B.V.M. School in Philadelphia, Rachel Weigand of Notre Dame De Lourdes in Swarthmore and Nathan Gotto of St. Francis of Assisi in Springfield also won in the local competition.
The MCA was founded in France in 1843 by Bishop Charles de Forbin Jansen. The mission of this organization promotes “children helping children.” To this end, the MCA encourages children to reach out to their friends and classmates in order to supply spiritual guidance in mission dioceses across the globe. These mission diocese are active in 110 countries, and help raise funds to build schools, implement nutritional and health programs and expand access to educational resources.