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TORONTO, September 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The 15th annual Father Ted Colleton Scholarship Program, sponsored by Niagara Region Right to Life, is now open to Grade 11 and 12 students, including those who are homeschooled, from across Canada.

The key component of the scholarship program, named in honour of the late beloved pro-life Irish-Canadian priest Ted Colleton, is an essay contest that offers a first prize of $1,50o, second of $800, and third of $500. Contestants must also provide a reference letter and a self-profile demonstrating community involvement.

The topic for the 1,500-word essay, which can be written in French or English, is selected to encourage young people to delve into the history of abortion, to develop critical thinking, research and writing skills, but most important, to stir their passion and desire to defend unborn children from the violence of abortion, says scholarship coordinator Dan DiRocco.

This year’s topic is:

In 2017, Canada will celebrate the 150th Year of Confederation. Since 1867, there has been great technological progress, accompanied by a steady expansion of freedom in certain areas of social and economic life. Consider the contrasting views of the respective Prime Ministers of the day. Sir John A. Macdonald and Justin Trudeau on the issue of abortion: Sir John A. Macdonald said that abortion “…saps the very life blood of the nation” while Justin Trudeau considers it an inviolable human right.

With the above preamble in mind, compare Canada’s social policies at the time of Confederation with those of contemporary Canada with specific reference to the issue of abortion. Explain the dramatic changes and offer your opinion as to whether these changes can be reversed, and is so explain how.

The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2016. The winners will be announced February 1, 2017, and their essays published in The Interim, Canada’s pro-life, pro-family newspaper, the primary promoter of the scholarship program.

Father Colleton, who died in April 2011 at age 97, was a prolific writer, having penned hundreds of columns for The Interim, which he published in best-selling collections: “Yes, I’m a Radical” and “I’m still a radical.” He also wrote an autobiography: “Yes, I’d do it again.”

An engaging speaker with impeccable comedic timing, the Dublin-born Colleton served in Canada and Kenya during more than 70 years of priestly ministry. His courageous pro-life witness included his arrest for padlocking a chain around the gate of a Toronto abortion centre.

Further information on the Father Ted Colleton Scholarship essay contest, including requirements for submission, is available on The Interim website here.

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