Youth ministry awards presented at annual banquet

Recipients of The Cardinal's Youth Award. Pilot photo/Christopher S. Pineo

RANDOLPH -- The Office of Faith Formation of Youth and Young Adults Awards Banquet at Lombardo's in Randolph, April 29, recognized youth and young adults for their work evangelizing in their parishes and communities two days after the canonization of two saints with a particular devotion to young people.

The canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II set a thematic tone for the evening, as Father Matt Williams, director of the office, introduced Father Michael Harrington for the opening blessing.

"Heavenly Father, we ask you to pour out your blessings upon us this night. We ask the intercession of two new and great saints for our Church, St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II. They had a bold vision. They believed that the Catholic Church was relevant in a world that was constantly changing and searching for deeper meaning. They knew Jesus was the hope of this world, and they knew that young people were called to be a witness to that hope," Father Harrington said.

Cabinet Secretary for the New Evangelization Janet Benestad introduced Father William T. Kelly, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption in Dedham and former director of the Office for Clergy Support and Ongoing Faith Formation, but not before she conveyed a word of thanks on behalf of the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, and episcopal vicar for the New Evangelization Bishop Arthur Kennedy to those receiving awards.

"I offer to those who are receiving awards tonight our deepest congratulations. Thank you for all that you do to spread the love of Christ to your family, to your friends, to your neighbors, to your teachers, to everyone you know, and thank you for witnessing to your friendship with Christ to the whole of our archdiocese," she said.

Middle school-age youth, high school-age youth, and adult leaders who demonstrated their faith by serving their parish and wider communities received awards. Adults who serve as Christ-like role models and mentors to youth and young adults in scouting and ministry also received recognition.

Giving the keynote, Father Kelly noted the thematic significance of the two new saints for the award ceremony.

"We are here tonight to honor young men and women who would make both of these popes proud, and to honor those who minister to them," he said.

The archdiocese presented Father Albert Stankard, pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Framingham, the St. Don Bosco "Friend of Youth" Award, given annually to a priest to recognize service to high school and middle school youth.

"Someone said once that adolescence is such a good thing, it shouldn't be wasted on the youth. I don't agree with that, and they let me keep my adolescence until now," he said.

He invited those from St. Stephen Parish who accompanied him to the banquet to stand, as he recognized their role that he said helped him to be "a friend to the youth."

Other adult honorees received the Light of the World Award, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, and the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Award for their work in ministry to youth.

Middle school-age youth received the St. Dominic Savio Award. High school-age youth received the Discipleship Award and the Cardinal's Youth Award.

Sean Cote, 18, who volunteers at his parish St. Margaret Mary's in Westwood received the St. Timothy award, the highest recognition given by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. Speaking with The Pilot, he credited the support of his parish and people there.

"It's a volunteer thing, and you don't expect anything back. I never honestly expected to get any award for it. It's just you want to help out, you want to help other people. Once you have done an event like the Relay for Life, or helped in the community, and you see what you are actually doing, it really makes an impact," Cote said.

His mother, Barbara Cote, said she was proud of her son, but that she appreciated the support he received from the parish religious education director Karlene Duffy.

"He's an awesome, awesome kid. He's very giving, very kind, and it was Ms. Duffy at St. Margaret Mary that gave him the opportunities. He just rose to them," she said.

Recipients were nominated by their respective parishes or Catholic entities and selected by the archdiocese.

Closing the banquet Father Williams said the young people had also responded to a challenge Pope Francis put to young people.

"To you who are at the beginning of the journey of life I ask, have you thought about the talents that God has given you? Have you thought about how you can put them at the service of others?" Father Williams quoted the pope, before pointing out that those honored clearly had.

Cardinal beatifies 22-year-old Romanian as 'martyr to chastity'

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- A 22-year-old Romanian peasant has taken a step closer to sainthood as a "martyr to chastity," six decades after she was murdered ...

Maryland attorney general will review church records on child sex abuse

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- In a Sept. 24 letter to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archbishop William E. Lori informed priests and deacons that the ...

People helping people is what attracted actor to 'God Friended Me'

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Television audiences may recall seeing actor Joe Morton as Eli Rowan Pope, the father of professional Washington fixer Olivia Pope, ...

Pa. bishops support creating fund to compensate survivors of sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- The bishops of Pennsylvania's eight Roman Catholic dioceses are supporting creation of an independent fund to compensate survivors ...

CRS sells fair trade coffee, supporting Mexican farmers and land

Baltimore, Md., Sep 24, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Catholic Relief Services is now offering fair trade coffee beans that will benefit local farming communities ...

The Jesuit who survived the KGB

Vilnius, Lithuania, Sep 24, 2018 CNA.- When Pope Francis visited a former KGB building in Vilnius, Lithuania Sept. 23, Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius ...

Next step toward artificial reproduction violates human fundamentals, ethicist warns

Washington D.C., Sep 25, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Artificial human reproduction appears to be on the horizon with Japanese scientists’ claim to ...

Update: Scandals create outrage, but there is time for conversion, pope says

TALLINN, Estonia (CNS) -- In what is probably the least religious country in Europe, Pope Francis said he is surprised by how many people hold firm to ...

Catholic leaders oppose administration's plan to limit green cards

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic leaders are speaking out against a Trump administration proposed rule announced Sept. 22 that would deny green cards to legal ...

Head of Georgetown Prep urges renewed commitment to being 'men for others'

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In a letter to the school community, the president of an all-boys Jesuit high school in suburban Washington emphasized the schools' ...

Today is 'hour of the laity,' Archbishop Gomez tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Hispanic Catholic leaders are living an important moment in the history of the Catholic church in the U.S. and are called to ...

Stay close to the suffering, forgive one another, pope tells Latvians

AGLONA, Latvia (CNS) -- What would Mary do? was the question Pope Francis, in effect, asked Latvian Catholics gathered at their nation's popular Marian ...

Joy, hope contagious for Encuentro participants as they discern priorities

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Joy, hope, energy and a spirit of continued collaboration are contagious among the participants of the Fifth National Encuentro, ...

Update: Pope in Lithuania: Don't let anti-Semitism, hatred resurge

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Outside the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, Pope Francis ended a day of paying homage to victims of totalitarianism and ...

God is patient, even with failures, pope tells young Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Meeting young Lithuanians in Vilnius, Pope Francis said he wanted a relaxed conversation, like they were sitting in a pub ...

Update: Vatican signs provisional agreement with China on naming bishops

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the pope, the Vatican announced. Pope ...

Find strength in tolerance, solidarity, pope tells Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- In Lithuania, a nation that experienced invasions, atrocities and persecution, Pope Francis began his visit with a plea to ...

Ospino: Encuentro reflects 'energy, maturity' of a church 'here to stay'

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- The thousands of Hispanic Catholic ministry leaders gathered in Texas for the Fifth National Encuentro shared views on the maturity ...

N.J. cardinal won't attend synod, asks to remain home at 'time of crisis'

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he ...

Detroit Archdiocese welcomes investigation into Michigan dioceses

DETROIT (CNS) -- Michigan's attorney general has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual abuse by clergy in all of Michigan's seven Catholic ...

Catholics believe in God but 'don't believe in us,' Miami archbishop says

MIAMI (CNS) -- The crisis the Catholic Church is facing is not "a crisis of faith" or "mainly about a crisis of sexual abuse by clergy," but is "a crisis ...

Update: Disney animator says grounding in Catholic schools led to success

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) -- Ron Clements is a renowned animator, screenwriter and producer-director of award-winning Disney films, including the blockbuster ...

#WhyImCatholic movement aims to share hope at difficult time for church

CHICAGO (CNS) -- Catholic Extension has launched a new social media campaign called #WhyImCatholic to offer "hope and unity" for Catholics by inviting ...

Continue to be an evangelizing church, nuncio tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Quoting from Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel," Archbishop Christophe Pierre encouraged Hispanic Catholic ...

Encuentro opens with procession, papal message, prayers for abuse victims

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- A video message from Pope Francis and a procession of Encuentro crosses representing all of the participating episcopal regions ...

Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...