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Scholarship essays on Vatican II open to high school and college students

December 5, 2012

The Office of University Ministry at Benedictine University is sponsoring an essay contest and symposium for high school and college students to mark the significance of the Second Vatican Council in addressing the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world.

The topic of the essay, “Is the Church a Sacrament? How and why does it matter?” is the question the symposium will try to address.

High school students are invited to write a 1,000-word essay that draws from historical and theological primary sources, in part, while college division participants are asked to submit a 1,500-word essay drawing extensively from historical and theological sources.

Three essay winners from each division will be published in “Constellation,” Benedictine University's online journal, which is part of the searchable “GoogleScholar” collection and receive certificates and monetary awards applicable to tuition credit at Benedictine University. First prize is $500, second prize is $250 and third prize is $100.

Submissions for the essay contest should be made electronically through February 3, 2013 at www.ben.edu/vatican.

Students will present their papers at the symposium, “Light of the Nations: Reflecting on Vatican II,” from 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 in the Krasa Student Center on the Benedictine University campus.

The panel will feature area academicians and religious scholars who will reflect on the forces that shaped Vatican II and the impact it had – and continues to have – on the modern-day Church.

Panelists for the symposium include Rita George-Tvrtkovic, Ph.D., assistant professor of Theology at Benedictine; Christine Fletcher, Ph.D., assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Benedictine; and Fr. David Turner, O.S.B., assistant provost for Institutional Mission at Benedictine.

Other panelists include Fr. Joel Rippinger, O.S.B., of Marmion Abbey in Aurora; Gerry Czerak, M.B.A. ’12, former business administrator at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Parish in Naperville; and Susan (Udelhofen) Ross, C79, assistant to the president of the Morton Arboretum.

For more information, contact Mark Kurowski, director of University Ministry at Benedictine University, at (630) 829-6020 or mkurowski@ben.edu.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.

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