Bringing Hope for the Pope

By Kalea Doryon ’21 and Kit Radley ’21 (Guest Writers)

Let the voices of young people be heard! Students from Holy Cross schools around the world are participating in the 9th annual Project Hope 2018. This year, all Notre Dame students will also be participating by submitting their projects to the Brothers of Holy Cross.

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There is a two-step process for this project. First, teachers lead students through a Listening Session for reflection and input from our perspective of the church, then the students make an artistic representation of one of the three prompts given.

The Listening Session is an introduction to Project Hope and allows students to think about how the Church can improve. Religion teachers started discussion and brainstorming by asking students about the benefits of being young, their relationship with the Church, and ideas about what they would want to say to the Pope had they the chance to meet with him.

The prompts for the project included questions asking students what they would want the Pope to know about them, how they would like to make a mark on their community, and their hope for the church.

Students in grades 9-12 who go to a Holy Cross School were eligible to submit an entry. They were allowed to write, draw, film, or record their entries. Groups could have a maximum of four people, and their entries can be in the film or music categories.


Brian Snitman, a freshman at Notre Dame, said  “Project Hope is a schoolwide project that to me symbolizes a chance for us students to make a change in a large institution like the Church. More than that, I feel that it is a way that the Church is recognizing us, and asking for our opinion. This outreach empowers me as a teen, as it tells me that we are recognized as an academic group. Moreover, it tells me that our generation is gaining respect from others for our exceptional and creative thinking.”


The winners from the Notre Dame 2017 Project Hope were Francesca Alvarez and Lauryn Cobbs who won the second place prize of $100 for their film on religious freedom. Maria Thomas and Natalie Bedrossian won the fourth place prize of $25. Natalie for her essay on religious tolerance, and Maria Thomas for her poem titled I See a Woman Sobbing.


Project Hope was made to allow students and adults to voice their hopes, challenges, and questions for the church.


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