Cathedral Grammar takes New England CYO title

The Cathedral Grammar School team poses with their trophy at the Reggie Lewis Center April 6. Pilot photo/ Courtesy Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults

BRAINTREE -- A three-point shot at the buzzer clinched the New England CYO Basketball title for Cathedral Grammar School’s seventh and eighth grade boys on April 6. The team -- in its first year of existence -- ended the season with a win in the highest level of competition available in Catholic Youth Organization sports.

And the victory came during an already historic year marking the 50th anniversary of the NECYO Basketball Tournament, the 70th anniversary of Boston CYO Sports and the 200th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Team members Kyle Lawyer and Curtis Howe, both eighth graders and two of the four co-captains, were not surprised by the win. In fact, they predicted it.

Cathedral Grammar’s principal, Sister Dorothy Burns, CSJ, told The Pilot, “When their eighth grade teacher said to them at the very first basketball meeting, ‘What is your goal?’ They said, ‘Our goal is to win the championship.’”

Kyle and Curtis began asking Sister Dorothy for a basketball team when they were in fifth grade. They asked again in sixth and seventh, but every year the answer was the same -- there was no money available to start a team.

But this year, the Friends of Cathedral, financial supporters of the school, along with rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Father John Connolly raised the money to start the team. The Friends of Cathedral also offered the female students either a girls’ basketball team or a cheerleading squad. They chose cheerleading and spent the season cheering on the boys’ team.

Sister Dorothy said of the boys’ basketball, “I think of them as a dream team. They had this dream, and they never gave up getting this team.”

More than 1,200 youth, representing 80 parishes and schools from 10 dioceses, participated in games at the Reggie Lewis Center and Milton High School this past weekend.

Other Boston teams competing in the New England tournament were 5-6 grade boys at St. Anthony School in Everett, 5-6 grade girls at Gate of Heaven School in South Boston, 7-8 grade girls at St. Francis School in Braintree, 5-6 grade boys and 7-8 grade girls at Sacred Heart Parish in Quincy, 5-6 grade girls at St. Pius Parish in Lynn, 7-8 grade boys at Gate of Heaven Parish and intermediate boys at St. Mary Parish in Franklin.

At the tournament’s annual Mass, held on the morning of the final day of competition at the Braintree Sheraton, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley began his homily by telling the players, “You’re all champions. You’re champions for being a part of the tournament, but you are also champions of our faith for being here this morning to celebrate this Eucharist with us.”

The cardinal told the young people to get to know their “best friend,” Jesus Christ. In Sunday’s Gospel reading, two disciples on the road to Emmaus invite the risen Lord to dine with them.

“Jesus wanted to be invited,” he said. “Jesus wants to be invited into our lives.”

In addition to the trophies handed out to the winning teams throughout the weekend, April 4-6, the first annual New England CYO Athletic Directors Award was presented to J. Kenneth Foscaldo who has served in Boston CYO for 38 years.

Foscaldo told The Pilot that the award is proof that service in CYO is appreciated by the youth and their families.

“I hope it’s an inspiration, a motivation, for those that are involved in youth ministry,” he said.

Foscaldo’s honor was “richly deserved,” said Peter Williams, director of athletics for Boston CYO.

Williams added that the Cathedral win was also well deserved.

He said of the team members, “They represented themselves, their parents and their school with great poise and class.”

Sister Dorothy said the boys worked very hard all season long. She recalled a comment from a player’s father; “If they don’t win by skill, they’ll win by wearing you out.”

Jonathon Mihal, Cathedral science and social studies teacher and one of the team’s coaches, said the boys have integrity, character and “the utmost respect for the game of basketball.”

They won all but one of their regular season games and played four tournament games over the past weekend.

The morning of the championship game, Mihal attended the Mass with the cardinal and received a personal blessing. At halftime, when the team was down by more than 10 points, he started praying the rosary in his pocket. Then, they came back and won.

“It felt complete,” he said. “It was destiny.”

Kyle said that he was excited that the team would play in the New England competition and more excited when they won.

“I was thinking that we’ve got to go out there and play as a team and just have fun. Don’t get nervous. Play your game,” he said. “A lot of people were saying we couldn’t do it. We proved them wrong.”

During the final part of the championship game, Kyle said he focused on getting the ball in the basket

Curtis said of the last minutes, “I thought we were going to go into overtime.”

He added that he is “amazed” that Cathedral finally has a team, remarking, “We have good teamwork.”

Both boys thanked the Friends of Cathedral and the coaching staff, and both plan to play at Cathedral High School next year.

Coach Mihal added that although 11 of the team’s 13 players are eighth graders who will move on to new schools next year, Cathedral Grammar School will definitely have a basketball team.

Nation
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

World
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 ...

Local
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 ...

Local
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 ...

Local
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, ...

Local
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 ...

Local
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 ...

Local
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

World
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 ...

World
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 ...

World
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, ...

Nation
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, ...

Nation
Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

World
Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...

World
Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Nation
Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Nation
Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

World
Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Nation
Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Nation
Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Nation
Advocates decry historically low cap for refugee entry in 2019

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Advocates for refugee admissions into the United States decried what one statement called a historically low cap of 30,000 for fiscal ...

Nation
Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Nation
Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Nation
Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

World
Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

World
Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

World
Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Nation
Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

World
Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Nation
Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

World
Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

World
What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

World
Catholic workers say U.S. aid cuts to Palestinians could be disastrous

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said ...