On Monday 2 December Sydney Bishop Richard Umbers presented awards to the two winners of the inaugural Walk with Christ Banner Competition.
The entries were judged in two age groups, Kindergarten-Year 2 and Years 3-6, with primary school-aged students invited to create and carry a banner at the Walk with Christ Eucharistic procession on Sunday 24 November 2019.
Bishop Umbers presented the winners with a prize pack including a $100 Smiggle stationery gift card and a family pass for two adults and three children to the VIP area for the opening night of the Lights of Christmas at St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt.
Samuel Wong, a Year 2 student from St Charles Catholic Primary School in Waverley was the first to receive his award from Bishop Umbers in a surprise presentation in front of the whole school assembly on Monday morning.
Samuel’s family are actively involved in their parish and his parents were both present to see him receive his prize.
“Samuel was very enthusiastic and it was his idea to enter the competition,” Mr Wong said. “We’re both very proud.”
Having enjoyed last year’s Lights of Christmas, Samuel said he was excited to go again with his parents and two older brothers. He said he planned to spend his vouchers on “rubbers and pencils”.
At St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School in Arncliffe, Bishop Umbers surprised the Year 3-6 group winner, Year 6 student Dylan Veljanovski.
Dylan said he was very happy with his win and was looking forward to going to the Lights of Christmas with his mother and brothers.
Dylan planned to spend his prize voucher on “pens that actually work and anything that’s red”.
Watching as he was given his award were his mum and two younger brothers who said they were all very proud of Dylan’s achievement.
Bishop Umbers also acknowledged the high level of participation in the competition from St Francis Xavier Primary.
School captains Lucy Savignano and Jasper Cox accepted a certificate on behalf of the school.
Principal Kevin Bryson attributed its success to making engagement between the school and wider church community a priority at the school.
“It’s part of a significant effort to bring the school and the parish together,” he said.
The Walk with Christ procession is scheduled again for June 2020, set to coincide with the feast day of Corpus Christi.