Father Timothy Murphy, pastor of Immaculate Conception in Salem, winner of the St. Don Bosco friend of youth award, poses with youth of his parish at the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults Awards Banquet April 5. Pilot photo/ George Willett
On April 5, a combined 119 middle school and high school-age youth, young adults and adults who serve the Church and their communities in a variety of ways, received awards recognizing them for their service. The awards were presented at the third annual Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults Awards Banquet at Lombardo's in Randolph.
"I'm filled with great joy tonight to see how the Church is alive in her young people, in the power of young people and their witness to bring life to the Church," said Father Matt Williams, director of the Office for the New Evangelization. "I'm in awe of God's grace at work in the youth, the young adults and the leaders."
Awards were given to middle and high school youth who demonstrate their faith by serving their parish and wider communities, young adults who are faithful and active parishioners, and adults who are Christ-like role models and mentors for youth and young adults. An award was also given to an adult supporting the mission of the Office for the New Evangelization.
Most of the awards were given by the Archdiocese of Boston, but some were from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), a nationwide organization that supports and promotes youth ministry.
Youth awards presented by the Archdiocese of Boston included the St. Dominic Savio Award for middle school students, as well as Discipleship Awards and Cardinal's Awards for high school youth.
Adults were also recognized by the archdiocese for their work serving youth with either Light of the World or St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Awards.
The archdiocese presented their St. Don Bosco Friend of Youth Award, given annually to a priest, to Father Timothy Murphy, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Salem.
St. Sebastian and CYO Hall of Fame Awards were presented to adults mentoring youth in various CYO programs around the archdiocese. Recipients were either coaches or athletic directors.
Young adults were honored with either the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati or the Christifideles Laici Award.
Brother Joseph Donovan, campus minister a Northeastern University, won the St. Paul the Apostle Award, and Father Chris Uhl of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary won the Pope J ohn Paul II Award for their ministry to young adults.
The Office for the New Evangelization also presented the Norm Plante Award to an adult who supports its mission and work. This year's recipient was George Martell, a photographer for the Archdiocese of Boston and parishioner at St. Mary's in Holliston.
NFCYM Awards included St. Timothy Awards for high school youth and Companions on the Journey Awards for adults ministering to youth.
Recipients were nominated by their respective parishes or Catholic entities and selected by the archdiocese.
Father Williams said that the archdiocese gives the awards in order to "recognize and honor the grace of God powerfully at work in the lives of the youth and young adults and those who serve them."
According to Father Williams, the awards give "the local Church the opportunity to celebrate the great things God is doing in the parish communities."
Father Williams also saw the benefit in the occasion itself, saying "bringing them together in an event like this, they see they are not alone and they draw inspiration and new life from each other."
"In a special way, I think the adults are inspired and evangelized by their kids," he added.
Award recipients actively serve their parishes and local community.
Brian Kirby, 18, is a member of St. Anne Parish in Salem where he teaches ninth grade CCD, serves on the parish council, coordinates the youth volunteers at the parish's annual Christmas bazaar and serves as a Eucharistic minister and lector.
For him, the reward for his work is the satisfaction he gets from helping the youth of his parish.
"It's really the joy of knowing they're growing closer to God through my example and they're learning about the faith in a fun way sometimes," said Kirby, who is also a senior at St. John's Prep in Danvers.
Kirby also said he was honored "that someone would have thought I am worthy of an award. It's very pleasing to me."
He also is an instructor at his karate school and an Eagle Scout. Next year, he is bound for Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he plans to study theology and history.
Meghan VanStry, 15, is a parishioner at St. Joseph in Medford. She is an altar server and Girl Scout, as well as a member of the Medford High School rowing team and student council.
"It just makes me feel good about myself," she said. "It's good to see what I can do to help people and the impact I have on other people."
2011 ONE Awards Banquet Recipients
St. Dominic Savio Award
Samantha Claveau, Immaculate Conception, Salem
Rachel Coughlin, Immaculate Conception, Salem
Rebecca Golding, Our Lady of Lourdes, Brockton
Hannah Klapprodt, Our Lady of Hope, Ipswich
Kathryn Lawton, Blessed Sacrament, Walpole
Brian O'Sullivan, Blessed Sacrament, Walpole
Rachel Spang, Blessed Sacrament, Walpole
Michael Arthur, St. Christine, Marshfield
Domenic Barceleau, St. Mary's High School, Lynn
Valerie Bloomer, Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree
Sarah Brugman, St. Athanasius, Reading
Emma Byrd, St. Christine, Marshfield
Joseph Cannistraro, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater
Josh Cannon, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater
Cara Ciardelli, St. Mary, Quincy
Katherine Day, Ursuline Academy, Dedham
Daniel Dignan, St. Joseph, Belmont
Joseph Donnelly, St. Irene, Carlisle
William Farley, Our Lady of Hope, Ipswich
Olivia Garber, St. Bartholomew, Needham
Julia Gilberto, St. Julia, Weston
Megan Golding, Our Lady of Lourdes, Brockton
Laura Hayes, Ursuline Academy, Dedham
Erin Heitkamp, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Westford
Will Henry, Immaculate Conception, Salem
Annie Hickey, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Westford
Patrick Hogan, St. Mary's High School, Lynn
Michael Jamieson, Good Shepherd, Wayland
Kyle Johnson, Immaculate Conception, Weymouth
Michael Johnson, Sacred Hearts, Bradford
Emily Koerner, St. Irene, Carlisle
Matt LaNeve, St. Mary, Franklin
Alex Lora, Immaculate Conception, Salem
Joseph Lundin, Immaculate Conception, Stoughton
Sean Ma, Lexington Catholic, Lexington
Brian Mangilog, Filipino Apostolate
Jake Marotta, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater
Caylin Marotta, St. Athanasius, Reading
Clare Marie McCallan, Our Lady of Grace, Groton
Ciara McManus, St. Christine, Marshfield
Sara Elizabeth McPherson, Good Shepherd, Wayland
Kristina Moran, Immaculate Conception, Salem
Brandon Mosca, Filipino Apostolate
Demi Muyuela, Filipino Apostolate
Jasmyn Nee, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater
Patrick Nee, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater
Colleen O'Leary, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater