A celebration of youth

Southern Tier parishes recognize efforts of active teens
By deacon tom picciano / sun contributing writer

Hillcrest — St. Catherine of Siena played host to 42 young people from 22 parishes for the annual Celebration of Youth. It’s the 11th time the Broome County CYO has put on the Mass, dinner and awards ceremony. Each honoree received a certificate signed by Bishop Thomas Costello and an engraved paperweight.

The Celebration of Youth evolved after years of sports banquets. “CYO is a component to youth ministry and should honor young people that are examples to their Catholic faith,” said Joe Tiesi, DRE and youth minister at St. Catherine’s. “The priority came off athletics and onto honoring two young people from each parish that inspired others by the example they show in their service to our church and our community.”

Every parish can designate two high school students who are practicing Roman Catholics. They must have demonstrated a Christian attitude by word and example. And they must be actively involved in the parish, school and community.

Dozens of accomplishments in a variety of ministries and activities are listed in a commemorative booklet prepared especially for the celebration. A common thread among all the biographies echoed the theme of this year’s event, “Faith in God.”

Father John Putano, Southern Region Vicar and principal celebrant at the Mass, congratulated the honorees for their example of service and inspiration. He also thanked the parents and friends who supported the young people on their journey.

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