National writing competition looks to Vatican II

by NZ CATHOLIC staff
WELLINGTON — The focus for the 2012 religious writing competition organised by the Knights of the Southern Cross is on the words: “Inspired by no earthly ambition, the Church seeks but a solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ under the lead of the befriending Spirit. And Christ entered this world to give witness to the truth, to rescue and not to sit in judgment, to serve and not to be served.”
These words are taken from the preface to the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes — the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.
Knights spokesman Patrick Horan said the idea of using Vatican II as a source for the competition topic came from Archbishop John Dew.
Archbishop Dew indicated that in October it will be 50 years since the opening of Vatican II and that the council had had a significant impact on the Church today, Mr Horan said.
The archbishop suggested that a topic based on some aspect of Vatican II or its documents would be a good preparation for the Year of Faith that starts in October 2012, he added.
The 2012 competition topic asks entrants to consider how he or she and her or his parish or college is currently carrying forward the work of Christ — giving witness, rescuing and serving. Also, as parishes and colleges can settle into a routine, the competition challenges entrants to come up with a new way(s) for their parish or college to achieve the goal of the Church in their local area. Full details of the competition topic and rules have been sent to all parishes and colleges for display on their noticeboards. They can also be found on, which also has reports of previous writing competitions.
The 2012 competition offers $1200 in prizes over four age categories and is free to enter. Of the four aged categories, three are aimed at college aged students (that is, those under 18 years of age). The competition closes on September 22, 2012.
“Even if you don’t intend to enter our competition, it would still be worth reflecting on the above document, which can be viewed on the Vatican website by Googling ‘Pastoral Constitution’,” Mr Horan said.

Posted in ,

NZ Catholic Staff

Reader Interactions


  1. Elaine Cradock says

    Good luck aspiring writers. It is good to talk about your faith and encourage others.
    At the age of 35 { I am now 66} I was inspired and encouraged by the holy spirit to study the scriptures and attend church. Since then my faith has been one of service, living in England until 2003. I attended an Anglican church serving at the altar, Eucharistic Minister, Church warden and chorister for many years. Just before I came to New Zealand I became a Catholic and served at the altar, Eucharistic minister for a few years until my sight prevented me from doing so.
    The Mass has always been an important part of my faith and the scriptures have always inspired me and prayer has always sustained me through life, in good and bad times. I continue to serve my God in a small singing group, singing is like praying twice. So good luck writers, may the holy spirit guide you to open your hearts to write as though the words come from God himself

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *