Third Grader Wins National Art Competition

December 19, 2014

Every year over 10,000 Catholic students across the country in grades K-8 are invited by the National Missionary Childhood Association to create an artistic scene depicting the Good News of Jesus’ birth and only 24 students are chosen as winners.

This year, Our Lady Queen of Angels third grader Lucero Alvarez was selected as a contest winner. Lucero’s artwork is on display in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. during this Advent and Christmas season and her design has been turned into an e-greeting featured on the Missionary Childhood Association Website ( under the “Art Contest” tab.

Her beautiful artwork depicts the shepherd and his flock overlooking the city of Bethlehem as the North Star shines brightly in the sky. Ms. Michelle Goguen, OLQA’s art teacher, assigned the project in the classroom last year and included Lucero’s artwork in the competition. She was delighted to learn that Lucero was chosen. “Lucero is a pure delight as a student and is a gifted artist. I am so proud of her.” Lucero is also proud of her accomplishment. She says she was inspired by the Nativity story. “I wanted to make something different,” she said. “I thought of the shepherd with his sheep late at night standing on a hill.” Her creativity and imagination are apparent in her striking image.

As part of her recognition, Lucero and the other 23 contest winners from across the country were honored at a special ceremony and mass at the National Shrine in D.C. on Friday, December 5th. Not only was Lucero recognized, but she and her family were able to experience an unforgettable trip to Washington, D.C. thanks to a generous donor who funded their trip. Lucero, her 3 siblings, and her parents explored D.C. for 3 days, during which Lucero did not stop smiling. Together they took a trolley tour of the monuments, seeing the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Arlington National Cemetery, the Washington Monument, the Capitol Dome, and more. Their favorite monument was the Lincoln Memorial, which left older brother and OLQA 8th grader Alex, “speechless.” The family also visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where older sister and OLQA 5th grader Daisy put on a bomber jacket, grabbed a helmet, and flew into the air — in a flight simulator! In between touring the capitol, the family found repose in the National Shrine. They toured the church’s 70 chapels, while learning about its history and architecture. The beauty and grandeur of the church touched them, and the Christmas Concert by the Catholic University of America Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra that marked the end of their stay left them spiritually moved.

We are proud of Lucero’s achievement and the way our community has gathered to support her. As her eldest brother Marc, an OLQA graduate and freshman at Cardinal Hayes High School, shared, “This moment was a Christmas miracle come true.”