Messenger Christmas card 2021

Matthew Oleson, 10, of Notre Dame Elementary in Burlington is the overall winner of this year’s Catholic Messenger Christmas card contest.

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

The Catholic Messenger Christmas card contest received 364 entries this year and youths from throughout the Diocese of Davenport really stepped up their game in quality of artwork.
That created a tough decision-making process for The Catholic Messenger staff, who judged the entries.

Matthew Oleson, 10, a fifth-grader at Notre Dame Eleme­ntary in Burling­ton and a member of Divine Mercy Parish in Burling­ton/West Burling­ton, was this year’s overall winner. After receiving assurance over the phone that he was not in trouble for being called to the assistant principal’s office, Matthew wasn’t quite sure what to think about his selection as this year’s winner. Judi Simon, assistant principal at Notre Dame, said Matthew had a big smile on his face.

He had entered The Catholic Messenger’s contest before but did not place prior to this year.


The judges selected his artwork of the Holy Family because it best conveyed the meaning of Christmas in a thoughtful way. He took time drawing the Holy Family and applying the colors to the portrait. He used colored pencils, his favorite medium for coloring, to create a composition that included many details. Some of the judges’ favorite details: the stars in the sky, the town in the distance and shading on the attire of Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus.

Additional winners by grade level are below or on Pages 6-7 in this week’s (Dec. 23, 2021) Catholic Messenger.


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