From staff reports

Humility. Service. Leadership. Ministry. Holiness. These are just a few of the qualities displayed by the Diocese of Trenton teens who received the St. Timothy Award honor this year. Nominated by their parish youth ministry leaders, these high-schoolers demonstrated exemplary involvement in the life of their parishes, youth groups, ministries and schools, giving the best of themselves time and again.

The St. Timothy Awards are presented annually by the Diocese’s Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. The awards recognize youth who follow in the footsteps of St. Timothy – a young disciple and companion of St. Paul – by living out their faith.

Lizzie Bianchine

St. David the King Parish, Princeton Junction  Senior, West Windsor-Plainboro High School North

“Lizzie, who excels in sports, arts, academics and volunteering, is beautifully humble and never allows her accomplishments to manifest themselves into pride and self-promotion. Lizzie has allowed her faith to guide her each step of the way; she has been a part of the Peer Servant Team within BOLD Youth Ministry in St. David the King for three years, and has taken part in countless retreats and service opportunities. Lizzie will attend Bucknell University in the fall to study mechanical engineering.”


Mary Brigid Clanton-Calnan

St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Bradley Beach/Avon  Senior, Red Bank Regional High School

“Mary Brigid Clanton-Calnon, known by her friends and family as Bridie, is a faithful young woman and a loyal servant to her parish community. Bridie has been involved with our faith formation program as a teacher’s assistant throughout her four years of high school. She is reliable and professional, and builds a nice rapport with the young students in her classes. Bridie became an altar server in elementary school and continues to serve at Masses. She clearly possesses a deep love of God which was demonstrated to her by both of her parents and her older sister, Caroline, who have also been involved in the parish in various ministries. Bridie is an honors student, and member of Key Club, Girl Who Can Code mentor and student athletic trainer. She will attend Louisiana State University to major in kinesiology and sports medicine.”


Caitlin Clayton

St. Martha Parish, Point Pleasant  Junior, Brick Memorial High School

“I have known Caitlin for nearly 10 years and have watched her grow into the example of love, faith, and virtue exemplified by St. Timothy. Caitlin is active in many facets of parish life, including the youth choir since second grade, where she mentors younger members, especially in playing the flute. She is a youth leader every year at our Vacation Bible Camp and teaches music every week to the kids in our Holy Innocents program (CCD for special needs children), including teaching them to sing Matt Maher’s ‘Your Grace is Enough.’”

“Caitlin was a reader at this year’s Catholic Youth Rally at Great Adventure and loves to bake desserts. At school, Caitlin plays piccolo in the marching band and is in the National Honor Society.”


Nichole Craig

St. Barnabas Parish, Toms River  Senior, Toms River South

“Nichole is an active senior of our youth ministry who is caring, loving, and a kind person. Always listening to others problems, yet never complaining about her own. She is the first one to jump in with a service project no matter what the task. Nichole has lent her artistic abilities to our program and wishes to become an art therapist.“


Annie Crean

St. Rose Parish, Belmar  Senior, The Academy of Allied Health & Science

“For the past seven years, Annie has attended the five-week Pine Catholic Camp in Big Sandy, Tex., as a camper; this summer, Annie will serve as a member of the S.W.A.T (Servants with a Task) team, assisting with “behind the scenes” responsibilities. Annie is a member of the parish music ministry, in youth choir and as a cantor. She has helped organize our parish’s bus trip to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life the past two years. During the 2018 Lenten season, Annie was cast in the original play “The Living Last Supper” held in St. Rose Church. This Lent she attended weekly Adoration and led her siblings in reciting The Divine Mercy Chaplet at home. Annie is a member of an online youth Bible study group and keeps a daily prayer journal. She has been a Confirmation sponsor on three occasions and will serve as her sister Fiona’s Confirmation sponsor this year as well. Annie will attend The Catholic University of America, Washington, in the honors nursing program.”


Nicholas Foley

St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square  Junior, Robbinsville High School

“Nick is a lifelong parishioner and has been involved in youth ministry for several years. Nick is an active member of the youth group and serves as a Peer Servant team leader which entails planning, organizing and leading youth group meetings. Nick participates in the Project Appalachia Mission trip to West Virginia, and is also a spokesperson at weekend Masses for the endeavor. He has also attended the Diocesan Youth Conference along with the BOLD Youth Ministry Retreat and ski trip. Nick participates in parish activities such as Loaves and Fishes, the parish carnival, the Knights of Columbus pancake breakfast and the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

“Nick is a Learning Ally YES! Ambassador, sharing his experiences as a student who is dyslexic. He mentors younger students about self-advocacy, learning differences, and assistive technology to students, parents and teachers. Nick has presented at the YES! summer camp, to the teachers of St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, and at several national and local conferences.”


Thomas J. Foti II

St. Aloysius Parish, Jackson  Senior, Howell High School

“Thomas (TJ) has been one of the most active members of St. Aloysius Youth Ministry (AYM) since he was in eighth grade with Jr. AYM. Throughout the years, TJ always put his faith in action and actively participated in community events, service projects and retreats for both parish and AYM. He is also an altar server. TJ is always willing to help anyone, no matter how busy his schedule is. TJ is a football player and he has a great sense of humor.”


Lucia Goumas

St. Catharine Parish, Holmdel  Senior, St. John Vianney High School

“Lucia Goumas is known for her service and leadership in the parish and at St. John Vianney High School. She has actively participated in the parish youth group for three years, and served for two years as a member of the executive board of the youth group. Lucia has served more than 100 hours as a teen helper in the summer religious education program.

“A member of the National Honor Society and winner of the Blue and Gold Award for knowledge, commitment and involvement, Lucia has been extremely active at SJV in liturgy, community service activities and academics. She played the role of Mary in the Living Stations of the Cross. Lucia is a role model for faithfully leaning on God while dealing with health issues, and has consistently demonstrated a bold witness of her faith, leading and encouraging others to do the same.”


Megan Hanaway

St. Pius X Parish, Forked River  Junior, Lacey Township High School

“Megan is a bright, cheerful and faithful young woman. She has been an active member of the St. Pius X youth group for three years. She is a beloved crew leader for our Vacation Bible School program each summer. Recently our youth group started a monthly youth Mass and hospitality, for which Megan has been a reader and volunteer. Outgoing, friendly and loving, Megan is a perfect candidate for this award. Megan is a National Honor Society member and an excellent bowler for her high school team!”


Alex Nichols Hauer

Holy Eucharist, Tabernacle  Senior, Seneca High School

“No matter what challenges face him, Alex always smiles and works through it. Not only was he one of the most active members in our HERO Youth Ministry, he also contributed to the community as a member of the county Search and Rescue team. After battling a serious illness, he continued to be positive and pushed himself and our ministry to serve more, do more, and love more. Alex has an identical twin brother, Austin, who is also a member of the HERO Youth Ministry.”


Isha Jethani

St. Paul Parish, Princeton  Senior, South Brunswick High School

“Isha has been involved in youth and parish ministries since she received her First Holy Communion in third grade. She has dedicated more than eight years to serving our parish family with a particular focus on youth ministries. Isha has been a catechist aide for our Hispanic First Holy Communion classes, co-taught Summer Academy catechesis, was an altar server, and coordinated and participated as a youth reader for our Spanish Mass. She is always willing to do whatever she is asked and often sees needs and jumps to fill them before requests are even made. Through her work in the parish, Isha has developed a servant’s heart and has honed her leadership skills. She has become an amazing role model for children and younger teens, particularly through her ability to relate well to children. I’m so proud to know her and so grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to witness her growth over the last several years.

“Isha’s favorite place to be is with family and friends. Next year, Isha will attend Rutgers University to pursue a career in medicine.”


James Krall

St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft  Senior, Communications High School

“James has been an active participant in our youth group since the seventh grade. In recent years, he has taken on leadership roles with the younger teens. He is always ready and willing to help out with community service we do with the youth group as well as in parish ministries as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, an altar server and as an usher. He volunteers weekly for Lunch Break and he recently received the Lumen Christi Award from our pastor!

“James was in our ‘Do Something’ video when he was in the seventh grade. He has been and will continue to ‘Do Something’ to spread the Good News of Christ.”


Kyle Lewis

St. Mary Parish, Barnegat  Senior, Southern Regional High School

“Kyle Lewis joined the parish youth group in seventh grade. His service began in the summer with our annual Nights of Summer Carnival. We immediately saw how easy it was for him to get along with everyone. Many times you wouldn’t see him because he never hesitated to get into one of the carnival costumes and walk around greeting the children. Over the past four years, he has been a major contributor in sharing his faith to the children participating in Vacation Bible School. Between work and school, Kyle always found time in his busy schedule to play a part in our youth group’s Live Stations of the Cross. He is kind, thoughtful and treats everyone with respect and dignity. His leadership skills helped us to form our Peer Leadership Team and has witnessed his faith journey to our junior and high school youth at one of our evening gatherings telling them that ‘God’s Got You.’ He will continue to be a part of the Peer Team even while attending Stockton University. In the six years we’ve known Kyle, he has grown tremendously and is an example of love, faith, virtue and exemplifies good moral values.”


Kayla Loges

St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral Parish, Freehold  Senior, Freehold Township High School

“Kayla takes her faith with her wherever she goes. She has been in youth group since eighth grade. She has emerged as a leader and mentor to others in every aspect of her life. This past November, we found out that mold was discovered in the building that housed the food pantry that services the Joint Bases and that all the food that was in the building had to be discarded. The youth group, working in conjunction with the Freehold Optimist Club, started a collection to replenish their supplies. Kayla’s inspiration led her to bring an idea to a club that she belonged to at Freehold Township High School – Lead for Diversity – and got the approval to make the collection part of the school’s biggest event of the year, Battle of the Classes. Kayla is a peer leader and minister, and volunteers at Special Strides Riding Center, where she helps people with special needs interact with and ride therapy horses. Kayla will attend Seton Hall University in the fall.”


Amanda McNally

St. Mary of the Lakes Parish,  Medford  Junior, Seneca High School

“Amanda is an excellent choice for the St. Timothy Award because she understands what it means to live with the “Light of Christ” inside of her and in turn, to be Christ to others. She is always upbeat, optimistic and willing to lend a hand to anyone in need. She has been an integral member of our YES ministry since junior high school, and has gradually assumed more leadership roles within the ministry as a high school student. She volunteers every year at Vacation Bible School; has been a member of the Habitat for Humanity Summer Mission Team; and serves as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. She shares her faith openly and honestly with others. She “owns” the name Christian every day by her words and actions.

“It was remarkable that she unabashedly evangelized to her public high school on Ash Wednesday by proudly displaying her ‘marked’ forehead and then explaining the symbolism behind the ash cross.”


Alexander Medwick

Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Ewing  Senior, Ewing High School

“Alex has been an altar server since seventh grade. He is also a great mentor and assists in training our younger and newly recruited altar servers. Alex also volunteers with annual Special Olympics at The College of New Jersey and The Walk for Autism held annually in Ewing. He was also the Kiwanis Youth of the Month award winner twice.

“Alex is a scholar athlete at Ewing High School, where he is also a member of the Honor Society and has earned a varsity letter in soccer in his junior and senior year. He was also a member of the stage crew for school plays. Alex will attend Rutgers Engineering and Business School in the fall. Having watched Alex, he is a loyal and trustworthy young man, a faithful friend and teammate on the field, at the local pool, in school and serving in our parish.”


Nanci Menchu

St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Hightstown  Senior, Hightstown High School

“Nanci has demonstrated leadership to her friends in the youth group, and is available to help with anything that is needed like a minister would do. She told us ‘I am not afraid to show that I love God.’ She helps teens by giving them advice and explaining her view of the love of God. She has also demonstrated her leadership in school, where she is president of a group and has led her peers in activities to help the community. We are really proud of Nanci and how much she has achieved.”


Kyle Xavier Mulvey

Holy Family Parish, Union Beach-Hazlet  Senior, Raritan High School

“Kyle is an active member of the parish. He received his Sacraments here, was an altar server and an usher, an Eagle Scout, a participant in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the recipient of the Parvuli Dei medal. He is a member of the volunteer firefighters and continues to assist at youth group retreats.

“Kyle serves as a lifeguard at Holmdel Pool Club; helps out Raine Foundation; mentors younger scouts and is a Merit Badge counselor. He will attend Brookdale Community College in the fall, focusing on criminal justice.”


Grace Parks

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Whiting  Senior, home school

“Grace is a very active member of our youth group, a dependable and dedicated altar server at Sunday Masses and at weekday funerals. Grace has a vibrant personality and shares her bright smile with all she meets. She lives and shares her faith through her participation in service activities such as Operation Christmas Child, Good Works, Live Stations of the Cross, Thanksgiving and Christmas food deliveries, and Mission: Jersey. Grace has never met a stranger and is not afraid to share the Gospel through words and action.

“She will be going to school to be a funeral director, and I have no doubt she will embrace this unique vocation with the compassion and prayer it needs to serve those facing the loss of a loved one.”


Michael Mark Reppy

St. Veronica Parish, Howell  Junior, Howell High School

“Michael has been in youth group for the past two years. He is a faithful altar server and has shown leadership in various parish events. Michael helps run the Confirmation retreats and acted as an emcee for the Christmas Carol Festival this past December. He is a prayerful young man, and has a wonderful sense of humor. He has a true servant’s heart.”


Kayla Scalercio

St. Catherine Laboure Parish, Middletown  Junior, Middletown High School North

“Kayla is a very dedicated youth group member and an asset to our parish community. She is actively involved in all of our meetings, service projects, parish outreach events, and our activities. She is committed to her faith and joins nearly all opportunities to grow deeper in her understanding by attending retreats, and faith based programs offered.

“Kayla is blessed with a beautiful and supportive family, and has both older and younger siblings. Her youngest sisters are adorable, nearly identical, twins who made their Communion this year! Kayla finds time to be committed to both her High School Extracurricular Activities and our youth group activities.”


Pedro Serrano

Mother of Mercy Parish, Asbury Park  Senior, Neptune High School

“Pedro has been serving his community ever since he received First Holy Comunion. He’s an inspiration for his three younger siblings and wants to keep inspiring more people. He is a wrestler at Neptune High School. One thing I admire about him is how much he loves his family.”


Jackson Sohl

St. Justin the Martyr Parish, Toms River  Sophomore, Toms River High School East

“Jackson attends almost every youth group meeting with enthusiasm. He steps up to the plate when needed and recruits others into the youth group. He has played a very convincing Jesus over the past two years in the Living Stations of the Cross. Jackson is always joking around with his peers in the youth group. He is a big help to his family as the oldest of six children.”


Valerie Viel

Our Lady of Sorrows-Saint Anthony Parish, Hamilton  Senior, Trenton Central High School

“Valerie is a very faithful young woman who serves at Mass and has been quite active in our parish youth group. She has worked to encourage teens from our Haitian Community to become involved, encouraging them to participate in parish youth activities. She has been the most involved member of the youth group’s core team. Many teens view her as a role model and she is always attentive to the needs of those around her. In addition to her schoolwork and parish involvement, Valerie holds down a part time job at a restaurant and has a good sense of humor.”


Kyle Wilson

St. Joseph Parish, Toms River  Senior, Donovan Catholic

“Kyle is a friend to everyone in his youth group, CYGNUS. He has faithfully participated in youth ministry activities since seventh grade and is always willing to befriend someone, or add to group discussions, especially on retreats. His warm heart, great sense of humor and fun-loving nature have blessed our CYGNUS family! He will be greatly missed next year!”


Kendra Zaleski

St. Isidore the Farmer Parish, New Egypt  Senior, Northern Burlington High School

“Kendra has been involved in youth group since she was in the seventh grade. She is very faithful in attending the events and has also made several retreats. She is supportive of various community service projects like assisting the homeless, visiting the senior citizen homes and caroling at Christmas. She has a great sense of her faith and likes to have fun in various activities.”