General Description

For the second year, the Diocese of Richmond is holding an essay and video contest in honor of Respect Life Month in January to raise awareness around the dignity of the human person and to build up a culture of life! The video contest is for middle school, high school, and college undergraduate students. The essay contest is for high school students only.

Through this contest, we hope to provide a means by which young people may reflect on their own experiences and express their pro-life beliefs. We also hope to provide an activity that may find to be a useful supplement or complement to classroom instruction, ministry, and home instruction.

There will be three divisions: Middle School (grades 6-8), High School (grades 9-12), and College (undergraduate). Prize awards are as follows:

Award Level Middle School Video Competition High School
Essay and Video Competition
College Video Competition
1st Place $75 $250 $500
2nd Place $25 $100 $250
People’s Choice $10 $50 $100

What is the theme and reflection question for this year?

The theme this year is: “Humanae Vitae…50 Years Later”

“There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction’.” (HV, 18)

Reflect on a recent cultural experience, event, or movement from the last year. Then, put that event or idea in conversation with the passage above from the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae and ask: “How does the Church stand as a sign of contradiction today?”

Things to know about the Process

  • All submissions are due to the Center for Marriage, Family, and Life by January 15, 2018.
  • For a copy of the evaluation rubrics, click here.
  • For a list of all the criteria for submission, please download the Contest Overview PDF.
  • Video submission will open on November 30, 2017 and remain open until January 15, 2018. Voting will remain open until January 22, 2018.
  • Uploaded videos are subject to disqualification if the content is deemed innappropriate or distasteful by CMFL staff.

ESSAY CONTEST: Enter or Vote

VIDEO CONTEST: Enter or Vote


Download the Contest Overview PDF

Download the Sample Lesson Plans that Accompany the Contest

Download the Evaluation Rubric PDF

An Initiative of the
Catholic Diocese of Richmond


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