Local Catholic schools win top awards in national video contest

Catholic Financial Life recognizes De Pere, Oconto Falls schools

ALLOUEZ — Two Catholic schools in the Diocese of Green Bay won first and second place in a national video contest sponsored by Catholic Financial Life. Our Lady of Lourdes School in De Pere and St. Anthony School in Oconto Falls took the top two honors, respectively, in CFL’s “Give Back Contest” and were presented with $5,000 and $2,500 checks Feb. 7.

Courtesy Catholic Financial Life

“In honor of Catholic Schools Week, we decided to hold our second ‘Give Back Video Contest,’” said CFL’s marketing director, Andrea Kincaid. “This contest encouraged Catholic schools across the country to submit a video that showcased how they formed students to become disciples of Jesus.”

According to Kincaid, 23 Catholic schools from Wisconsin to Vermont entered the video contest.

Schools were asked to submit two-minute videos reflecting on Jesus’ words in John’s Gospel: “I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In their videos, schools were challenged to answer the question: “How does your school form students to become disciples who live out this challenge from Jesus?”

A panel from Catholic Financial Life narrowed the submissions to top videos, and throughout the week of Jan. 17–25 (Catholic Schools Week), viewers were invited to go online and choose the top two large Catholic school winners and top two small Catholic school winners. Nearly 10,300 votes were cast.

According to Our Lady of Lourdes School teacher Jean O’Donnell, 16 middle school students, assisted by three teachers, created the school’s video following the CFL’s guidelines.

“As the students listened to this opportunity, it was hard to tell what was more exciting,” said O’Donnell, “the prospect of making a video showcasing the many fundraisers, caring activities and projects they had done throughout the year, or the idea of winning $5,000 or $2,500 for their school.”

The students used a news anchor format they called “Taco Time News,” in which a news anchor described examples of how students lived as disciples of Jesus in their school and community.

“With nominal teacher guidance, they pursued their idea, wrote the script, gathered props and costumes … filmed the video and completed the final editing,” said O’Donnell. “The teachers were in awe of the final edited product, with the editing done by the students entirely on their own.”

O’Donnell said the school has not yet decided how they will use their $5,000 prize money.

Alex Wolf, principal of St. Anthony School, said his school’s video focused on three areas: Jesus’ call to prayer, service and love. “The video demonstrates various ways St. Anthony students engage in activities which promote discipleship,” he said, adding that prize money will be put toward classroom supplies.

Winners in the large school category were St. Mary School, Hales Corners, first place, and Holy Apostles School, New Berlin, second place. The top 11 videos can be viewed at join.catholicfinanciallife.org/giveback

Our Lady of Lourdes School, De Pere

St. Anthony School, Oconto Falls.