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The St. Thomas More Guild announces annual scholarship for students attending Catholic elementary and high schools

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The St. Thomas More Guild will hold its 15th annual scholarship for students attending Catholic elementary and high schools. Offered for the 2021-22 school year, one $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student attending a Catholic elementary school, and one $1,500scholarship will be awarded to a student attending a Catholic high school. The scholarship contest rules, and application can be found at http://www.stthomasmorewny.org/grade-school-scholarship. All eligible students are encouraged to apply.

The contest is open to all students currently in grades 6-11 who will attend in the 2021-22 academic year at a Catholic school located in the Diocese of Buffalo. All scholarship applicants must submit an essay based on St. Thomas More giving up his own life rather than abandoning his Catholic faith.  

He was a lawyer, an important government official, a loving husband and father, a brilliant scholar and writer. When the king ordered him to do something that he knew was wrong, he refused and was put to death. Applicants should identify someone that they consider to be a modern St. Thomas More who has made a sacrifice to follow his or her faith. Explain why they chose that person and what specifically makes that person a modern-day St. Thomas More. The maximum length of the essay is 500 words and must be typed.

The application must accompany the essay. The current grade of the student should be placed in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of the essay. The essay must not contain the writer’s name or school. The essay will be judged according to the grade level of the student, with the judges not knowing the identity of the applicant during the judging process.

The scholarship application and essay must be mailed to St. Thomas More Guild Inc., P.O. Box 35, Buffalo, New York 14201-0035 and be postmarked no later than March 31, 2021.

Winners will be contacted after April 30, 2021. Scholarship awards are paid jointly to the winner and school. The awards will be presented at the annual luncheon which will be held at the Buffalo Convention Center this upcoming spring.

Thomas More was born in London, England on Feb. 7, 1478, the son of Sir John More, a prominent judge. Thomas has been described as “a man for all seasons.” He was a literary scholar, eminent lawyer, gentleman, father of four and chancellor of England. He was a deeply spiritual man, so he would not acknowledge King Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church in England. The king had broken ties with Rome and refused to acknowledge the pope as head of the Church because the pope refused to grant his divorce from his wife, Catherine of Aragon. Thomas More would not compromise his own moral values to please the King. King Henry VIII tried desperately to win his chancellor to his side because he knew that More was a man “whose approval counted, a man whose personal integrity no one questioned.”

Although Thomas More was committed to the Tower of London to await trial for treason, he remained true to his moral values and his Christian faith, refusing to betray his conscience even at the cost of his own life. His story is an example of great courage. In 1935, Thomas More was canonized a saint and is the patron saint of lawyers.

If there are any questions about the scholarship or procedures, please contact scholarship chairman David Mineo at 716-639-0058 or see the website http://www.stthomasmorewny.org.

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