By Kurt Killen
Special to The Key
KANSAS CITY — The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Padraig Pearse Division #1 welcomed fellow Hibernian, Bishop Robert W. Finn and the winners of the annual AOH Scholarship Essay Competition to the Irish museum in Union Station Aug. 8.
Each year, students who will be enrolled in a Kansas City metropolitan area Catholic high school are invited to submit an application which includes a profile of their church, school, and community activities. The application is submitted along with a 500-word essay on a topic of their choice, related to Ireland or the Irish. The essays are judged by 10 AOH members who score and rank the essays. The students’ names were removed to insure objectivity.
The four winners for the 2013-14 academic year: Erin O’Connell, an incoming senior at St. James Academy in Shawnee, Kan. Her essay was on Irish patriot and namesake of the Kansas City AOH, “Padraig Pearse.” John Perlik, a junior at St. Pius X, in Kansas City, wrote an essay on “United Irishmen” an activist group for independence in Ireland. St. Pius X sophomore Gabrielle Chirpich, submitted an essay about “The Irish Potato Famine.” Brenna Killen, an incoming freshman at St. James Academy, wrote her essay on “Grace O’Malley – Pirate Queen of Ireland.”
Each student will receive a $500 check from the AOH, made out to their school. The winning essays will be posted and available to read at the AOH website www.aohkc.org in the near future.
The essay contest is held each year. Rules and application forms will be posted on the AOH website in the spring and submissions are due July 1.