Family Rosary, part of Holy Cross Family Ministries, is sponsoring a national competition for students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Students are encouraged express their faith through art, poetry and prose.

The “Try Prayer! It Works!” Contest is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The 17th annual national competition attracts more than 3,000 entries from more than 50,000 participants nationwide. Children and teens from Catholic schools, parishes, home schooling and other Catholic organizations use their talent to convey their beliefs.

This year’s theme—Fear not, I am with you!—focuses on The Visitation. In the Second Joyful Mystery, Mary visits Elizabeth after the angel Gabriel tells her of God’s plan. During the visit, Mary comforts her cousin and helps her as she awaits the birth of her child. How do you visit with people? Why do you visit them? Whom do you visit? Do you see Christ in others—like Mary and Elizabeth when they visited with each other?

“The lesson of The Visitation helps us understand the importance of friendship and service,” said Father John Phalen, CSC, President of Holy Cross Family Ministries, of which Family Rosary is a member ministry. “Visiting with others is an opportunity to share God’s love and to offer ourselves in charity and service to our neighbors when necessary. When we do so, we know we can count on Jesus and Mary to be there with us.”

The “Try Prayer! It Works!” Contest asks entrants to use creativity to depict their thoughts and feelings to show how they visit with family and friends. Children in grades K-12 enrolled in a Catholic school, religious education program, parish, home school or other organization are eligible to participate. Download an application here. All entries must be postmarked by Feb. 1, 2012. Questions? Call Holy Cross Family Ministries at 800-299-PRAY (7729).