Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest

2019 Essay Contest Update

Due to the high volume of essays this year, it is taking longer than usual to read and score them. Thank you for your patience!


About the contest

This contest encourages today’s youth to be more connected to their community and their faith. The goal of this program is to involve young Catholics in civic discourse and instill in them religious and life-affirming values. The essay should be approximately 500-750 words on a specific subject, changing every other year. Entrants will be judged on grammar, style, and how clearly they present the theme – which should showcase creativity, imagination and overall development of the topic.

Council 12708 has decided to limit participation in this contest to 8th graders.


  • Essays must reflect the assigned theme and be the student’s original work.
  • Essays must be typed and be between 500 and 750 words in length.
  • The student’s name should appear only on the official Catholic Citizenship essay Contest entry form, which must be stapled to the essay.
  • All entries become the property of the Knights of Columbus and will not be returned.

Full details for this contest as mandated by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council can be found at

Winners of the local contest may be able to compete at the state and international levels.

How to submit

Essays must be accompanied by an entry form.

Essays must be submitted to the Contest Chairperson no later than midnight on Monday, September 30, 2019.

Essays may be submitted by one of the following ways:

Contest Chairperson

Chris Buehnerkemper - 707-347-3549 -

2019-2020 Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest Theme:

Discuss the meaning of Virtue and how you live and embody the virtue of Charity.

“Charity is the theological virtue which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God” - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1822

Biblically, virtue is understood as the conformity of life and conduct with the principles of morality, while Charity signifies the reciprocal love between God and man, one that is manifest in unselfish love and eloquently shown in the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

In an essay of 500-750 words, consider the meaning of virtue and think about ways in which you exemplify the virtue of Charity to glorify and reflect the nature of God. This could be at home with your families or in your communities, as you enrich the welfare of others.



Judges (three or more) will be selected by the sponsoring Knights of Columbus council. Council members, teachers, clergy, civil officials and/or members of the community may serve as judges.


Essays will be judged on a 100-point scoring system:

  • 35 points: Content - How clearly is the theme presented?
  • 30 points: Grammar - Does the essay reflect proper sentence and paragraph structure and utilize correct spelling?
  • 35 points: Style - Does the essay show creativity, imagination and development of the topic in a compelling style?


Winners will be notified no later than October 31, 2019.


1st Place - $100

2nd Place - $50

3rd Place - $25