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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (November 4, 2005) - The Acton Institute is pleased to announce the recipients of its third annual Spanish-language Homiletics Award ( Premio a la Homilía en Español ), an annual competition for seminarians and graduate students preparing for a career in preaching and teaching ministries.

Participants prepared sermons based on James 5:1-6, titled "The Warning to Rich Oppressors." Each sermon was judged on content, interest level, style, and effectiveness. This year’s competition included entrants from more than fourteen countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

The award-winning homilies are available on Acton’s Spanish website . In all, five recipients were selected:

  • First place, $2000 prize: Agustín Beltrán Flores , a seminarian from Mexico studying Theology at the Diocesan Seminary of Chilapa. Beltrán will commence studies in psychology or communications in December.

  • Second place, $1000 prize: Fernando P. Lanas , an Ecuadorian seminarian studying at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA.

  • Third place, $500 prize: Franz Möller Morris a student of law and theology at the Universidad de Chile , the Seminario Alianza Cristiana , and the Comunidad Teológica de Chile .

  • Honorable mention: Demétrio Gomes da Silva , a Brazilian seminarian pursuing a Bachelor of Theology degree at the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.

  • Honorable mention: Russell Bantiles Alivio , a Philippine Bachelor of Theology student at the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.

This year’s panel of Homiletics Award judges included Dr. Alejandro Chafuén, President of Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Arlington, Virginia; Dr. Mariano Avila, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Fr. Ricardo Rovira, a Catholic priest who teaches at the Instituto Empresa y Humanismo of the Universidad de Navarra ; and Ramón Parellada, an entrepreneur and Professor of Economics at the ESEADE ( Escuela Superior de Economía y Administración de Empresas ) of UFM ( Universidad Francisco Marroquín , Guatemala).

The annual Spanish Homiletics Award is one of the Acton Institute’s many programs designed to assist future religious leaders in developing an understanding of the relationship between morality and the marketplace and to become articulate proponents of a free and virtuous society.

About the Acton Institute

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at