TORONTO, September 5, 2013 ( – Once again The Interim newspaper and Niagara Region Right to Life have teamed up to sponsor this year's edition of the Father Ted Colleton Scholarship pro-life essay writing contest.

The purpose of the contest is to encourage young people to learn about pro-life issues and the pro-life movement, and to become actively involved in its programs, by researching and writing an essay on a stated theme.


The 2013-2014 contest directs candidates to address the theme: “Identify and discuss the most significant factors which have spawned the culture of death. Suggest a solution that would foster the culture of life.”

There are three prizes: $1,500 first prize, $800 second prize, and $500 third prize.

The 2013-2014 contest is open to Grade 11 and 12 high school students not only in Canada, but also to students around the world. However, the essays must be submitted in either English or French.

Contestants must submit (preferably by e-mail to [email protected]) a typed original essay (in English or French) on this year’s topic, approximately 1,200 words in length, with one letter of reference from a school staff member or community representative, and a brief self-profile outlining participation in school life/community activities and a description of their interest and/or involvement in the pro-life cause.

The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2013.

Helpful hints for the essay writing component, as well as samples of previous winning essays on a variety of topics, and details regarding application and timelines may be found at The Interim’s website.


The winners will be declared by January 31, 2014.

Last year's winners were Darren Periera, Alexandra Jezierski, and Katrina Fackelmann, who wrote on the topic, “Effective witness in the public square requires a new focus on what is important to young people. What can be done to convince young people, your peer group, that ‘the life issues are not only genuine social-justice issues; but they are the priority social-justice issues’?”

The topics given for the essay contest have varied over the years, but they have always challenged students to think more deeply about pro-life issues and to write about them cogently.

The prizes are awarded following an evaluation process conducted by a committee that assesses the essay-writing component.

Letters of reference and a demonstrated commitment to pro-life activities, either in the school setting or in the wider community, are also elements of the contest.

The organizers of the contest note that a lack of prior involvement in the pro-life movement does not disqualify students from the scholarships.

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Dan Di Rocco, a retired secondary school principal and co-ordinator for the scholarship honouring pro-life hero Father Ted Colleton, said that the program offers great insight into the thinking of young people on life issues.

“The candidates make their schools and families proud,” he said. “They invariably are outstanding students, not just academically, but in their involvement in school and community life.”

Di Rocco added that he believes there is much to hope for when it comes to a pro-life future in Canada. 

“The young are brave, outspoken, and quite eloquent in the way they express their convictions,” said Di Rocco.

For further information, contact Dan Di Rocco at (416) 204-1687 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Mailed submissions should be sent no later than December 1 to:

Father Ted Colleton Scholarship
104 Bond Street, Suite 306
Toronto, ON  M5B 1X9  Canada

Please note that in case of time constraints you may wish to e-mail the essay portion of your submission to Dan Di Rocco at [email protected] and then forward a hard copy with the rest of your package by snail mail.


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