January 4, 2018
By Ed Byrne
The Brillion News
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Now a freshman at Brillion High School, Teresa Fischer made a pilgrimage of sorts to the nation’s capital in early December, where she accepted an award from the Missionary Childhood Association for her work in the group’s national Christmas artwork contest.
Teresa, the daughter of Jim and Janet Fischer, was an eighth grade student at Holy Family Catholic School when she entered the local contest to portray elements of the Nativity story.
All of the seventh and eighth grade students at Holy Family were asked to enter the contest a year ago.
Her color drawing of the three Magi carrying gifts for the Christ child was selected as one of the 24 best in the national contest. In late November, Teresa and her parents went on a journey of their own – a week-long trip to Washington to receive a plaque honoring Teresa for her drawing.
The award was presented by Fr. Patrick Posey, director of the Pontifical Mission Societies.
“When I was younger, my mom taught us how to draw,” Teresa said. “I was homeschooled up until fifth grade.”
The contest asked students to portray the three Magi in their drawings, and Teresa said she wanted to convey a specific idea: “They bring gifts to Jesus, like we all have gifts to bring to Jesus, too.”
After she was named one of the 24 winners, the Pontifical Mission Societies invited Teresa and her parents to visit Washington, D.C., to receive her award, and offered the family $2,000 for the trip. They left the day after Thanksgiving.
“We drove out there, and we also stopped at tour sites out there too,” Teresa said.
The Fischers also participated in a Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on December 1 that honored the artwork contestants and the work of the Missionary Childhood Association.
Father Timothy Brandt, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Brillion, said Teresa’s talents amaze him.
He described her as a quiet and humble person, but her artwork and music are outstanding.
“Teresa is learning to play piano. Just the other day, I cornered her and asked her when she was going to be able to play in church,” Father Timothy said. “I think we’re almost getting to that point.”
He said he didn’t realize she was a talented artist until teachers at Holy Family School mentioned her art work.
“She, her parents and her siblings are engaged people here at church,” Father Timothy said.
Teresa has three older brothers – Ben, Nathan and Joe – and three younger brothers – Michael, Thomas and Vincent.
Father Timothy said the whole family is involved in parish activities and the honor Teresa received for her artwork is humbling.
“Somebody is here in our midst who [has earned] this kind of notoriety and recognition on the national level,” Father Timothy said.
This story was featured in the January 4, 2018 edition of The Brillion News.