Faith & Reason Essay Contest

In the Year of Faith declared by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, our Holy Father, Francis, promulgated his first encyclical letter, Lumen Fidei. In that encyclical, the Pope urged the faithful—and all men of good will—to recognize that faith is a light, and one urgently needed in our time, since, as experience shows, when “the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim.”

“Faith,” said the Holy Father,

is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfillment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us. Faith, received from God as a supernatural gift, becomes a light for our way, guiding our journey through time. (Lumen Fidei, n. 4)

As a Catholic institution of higher learning, it is the privileged task of Thomas More College “to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth.” (Ex Corde Ecclesiae, n. 3)

In response to the Holy Father’s exhortation to recover a sense of faith as a light, I am pleased to announce the 2014 Faith & Reason Scholarship Essay Contest. Applicants are invited to reflect on the Holy Father’s introduction to Lumen Fidei and to submit an essay of 2 to 3 pages in answer to the question:

How has faith proved to be a light illumining my own way in life?

William Edmund Fahey, President

Submission Information

Essay submissions must be mailed or emailed by February 28th, 2014.  Essays that are emailed are due by 11:59 PM on Friday, February 28th, 2014. Awards will be made by March 21st, 2014. Essays should be two to three pages typed, double-spaced with 12-point Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins on all sides. Applications must include a coversheet listing the applicant’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail, high school graduation date, and age. Completed applications should be sent to the Admissions Office, 6 Manchester Street, Merrimack, New Hampshire 03054, or via e-mail at

The Faith & Reason Essay Contest is open to all incoming freshmen at Thomas More College.


First place prize of $30,000 over four years.

Second place prize of $20,000 over four years.

Third place prizes of $10,000 over four years.

Fourth place prize of $4,000 over four years.