Announcing America’s 2020 Generation Faith Essay Contest

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

“A church that does not listen...cannot be credible,” Pope Francis said in his opening remarks to a worldwide meeting of Catholic leaders on the topic of young people. The pope said the church needs to listen “to those young people who often do not feel understood by the church” and are “not accepted for who they really are.”

The editors at America Media could not agree more. That is why we invite high school and college students to share their experience as Catholics in our annual Generation Faith Essay Contest. In recent years, I have had the privilege of reading hundreds of essays from young Catholics about the ways that their faith has pushed them to pursue justice and engage in acts of mercy—and the ways that their faith has been challenged by the failure of the church to live up to the radical call of the Gospels.


Past contest winners have written about experiences as diverse as living through the Arab Spring, overcoming porn addiction and struggling with depression and anxiety

I invite you to share your story for a chance to win $1,000 and have your essay published in America magazine.

Learn more about the Generation Faith Essay Contest and submit your entry here.

Ashley McKinless
Associate Editor
America Media

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

More: Youth

The latest from america

The faithful must stand against measures that dehumanize asylum seekers and welcome immigrants among us.
Matt Malone, S.J.July 14, 2020
The church in the United States is not a monolith. It is a network of affiliated but legally and financially independent institutions.
Matt Malone, S.J.July 14, 2020
Demonstrators are seen near the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind., to show their opposition to the death penalty July 13, 2020. (CNS photo/Bryan Woolston, Reuters)
Helen Prejean: “While we were all sleeping, the government killed a man under cloak of darkness.”
Graduating seniors line up to receive their diplomas after exiting their vehicles during a drive-in commencement on June 14, 2020, at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, N.Y. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in most states, school administrators are struggling to decide if classes can be held in person, if remote learning is here to stay for a while or if a hybrid of the two is needed.