Epiphany Parish, Brick
T.C. Chu is well known around the Epiphany Parish community. As a youngster, he would help his parents to serve as ushers at Mass. He now serves as an altar server, a reader and also helps with training and offering support to new altar servers. Chu volunteers every year at the annual parish carnival and with the parish’s Feast of the Assumption and Italian Festival celebrations. Described as very bright and gifted, this young man is a loyal and faithful member of his parish. Chu is a senior in the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science, Manhawkin.
St. Joseph Parish, Toms River
This recipient is a joyful spirit and a friend to everyone, humble and always willing to help out in any way possible. Some of the things Claire Drozd, who is a senior in Toms River High School North, is involved in are running the childrens’ choir, serving as a member of her parish youth group since seventh grade, a cantor at Mass, a junior reader and a member of the teen grief group. She represented her parish at the National Catholic Youth Conference in November, 2013.
St. Martha Parish, Point Pleasant
A member of the Diocesan Youth Council and senior in Point Pleasant Boro High School, Angelo Falabella has proven himself to be a leader among his peers, serving as a youth retreat director this year and a youth mentor with seventh and eighth graders, in addition to helping with the teen RCIA. In addition to youth group, he is also active in school as a member of the competition band. This year he surprised his youth group and came caroling with a few of his friends. His reward was being asked by the parish music minister to play at Christmas Mass.
St. Rose of Lima Parish, Freehold
Catherine Felle has been involved with her parish youth ministry for more than four years, and has been on the leadership core team for three years. A top student, she is also involved with SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), helps with children with special needs, and volunteers at a summer camp for adopted children. She has great compassion, thoughtfulness and patience, and one cannot help noticing Christ’s joy and peace within her.
St. Aloysius Parish, Jackson
A leader in her parish youth group, Maria Giorno is a role model to other members of the youth group, patient and passionate about her faith. She is a member of the parish choir and is also very active in high school productions, playing Rose in Jackson Liberty High School’s spring production of Gypsy. Giorno was nominated for high school senior of the month in January, 2014, and is also a member of the Jackson Roller Derby.
St. Justin Parish, Toms River
A senior and honor roll student from Toms River High School South, Richard Gonzalez has been a member of his parish youth group for all four years of high school, serving with enthusiasm and acting as a leader within his group. Described as an outstanding individual, he is always looking for ways to help others. He has participated in many of the community service activities outside of his youth group, and is a wonderful example of a proud Catholic.
St. Catharine Parish, Holmdel
A senior from St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, Christina Goumas is a contagiously joyful leader in her parish youth group and on the Diocesan Youth Council. She participates in many youth group activities and encourages others to participate, as well. Goumas attended the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2011 and was instrumental in having others in her youth group attend in November 2013. Also active in parish life, she serves as a reader and altar server.
Holy Eucharist Parish, Tabernacle
A member of her parish youth group for the past four years, Karalee Hinz is described as a leader and a person of faith. Much of her free time is spent volunteering. She helps out with the parish Vacation Bible School, serving as the chairperson as well as teaching in the religious education program and volunteering at the annual Pine Barrens Festival. Currently, Hinz, who is a junior in Seneca High School, is a host for Realfaith TV and was part of the parish mission trip to Tent City, Camden. In school, she is a varsity cheerleader, Interact club, DECA club and the Drug Squad. This past winter, she challenged her youth group to embrace a family in need in their community.
St. Agnes Parish, Atlantic Highlands
A senior in Middletown High School North, Alec Iapalucci volunteers regularly as an usher in his parish for Sunday Mass. In 2013 he volunteered to help with religious education in nearby Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Highlands, and the previous year, he was a helper in the religious education program in St. Agnes Parish. Iapalucci has been a member of the parish youth group for the past six years, working the parish ministry fair to welcome and register new youth group members. Iapalucci also established and volunteered his time at the youth group pancake breakfast. Active in his community as well, he has been a runner for Circle of Hope Hospice Gift Auction, shovels snow for neighbors in need of assistance and participates in the Great Race, which is a race to raise funds for education in Middletown.
St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft
A junior in Red Bank Catholic High School, Jenny Kret has been a member of her parish youth ministry for the past five years, recently serving as team leader helping to organize and participate in community service activities and fundraisers. Enthusiastic about her Catholic faith, she has been a volunteer in the parish religious education program, and a member of the “Make a Wish” and “Big Day Out” clubs working with girls with special needs. Kret also serves her family, helping to care for her brother who suffered a traumatic brain injury. She represented her parish at National Catholic Youth Conference in 2011 and 2013 and has attended the March for Life in Washington each year.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Whiting
This recipient is an example of living life as a humble follower of Christ and is very active in both parish life and youth group, serving as a reader and a member of the parish choir. Jonathan Login represents his parish youth group by serving on the Diocesan Youth Council where his commitment and leadership skills are evident in all he does. During the summer he attends Camp Veritus where he helps rebuild houses at Good Works. In November, 2013, he attended the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis, and is currently a junior at Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft.
St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Freehold
Described as dedicated, trustworthy and with a willingness to serve, Mia Lombardi takes responsibility to a new level. Friendly and outgoing, she is a member of the Diocesan Youth Council, a role model to her classmates, fellow youth group members and her two younger sisters. She is always first to volunteer for everything and has supported the efforts of her youth group for the past two years. She is dedicated to her family, her faith and her studies.
St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel
A senior from St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, Katie McAlick was president of the Junior CYO and a spirituality youth leader in her high school CYO. C urrently serving as president of the parish youth ministry, her deep faith, commitment, and compassion brings a positive attitude to all that she does. She has been an integral part of her parish youth ministry, giving to others and living her faith.
St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square
A junior from Robbinsville High School, and a member of her parish youth group for the past three years, as well as a member of the Peer Leadership Team for two years, Jillian McGough is described as active, humble and blessed. Whether working on Project Appalachia rebuilding homes in West Virginia or a member of the Diocesan Youth Council, she is a leader in all aspect of her life, including church, community and school where she was awarded the Principals Honor Roll. McGough is also known for being welcoming to new youth group members, making them feel comfortable and part of the team.
St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan
As a junior in St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, Matthew Nicosia is highly committed to the campus ministry program. He can be counted on to assist with setting up for and serving at school Masses, earning a unique record of having served at almost every Mass celebrated in the school during his three years as a student.
St. Theresa Parish, Little Egg Harbor
A senior from Pinelands Regional High School, Sarah Polichetti is very involved in parish life and youth group. She has stepped up to be a spiritual leader in her youth group and attends every fundraiser and parish event, including portraying Mary in the Stations of the Cross prayer service. She loves to make new friends with members of other youth groups, and makes every effort to reach out to other youth groups to join them in their activities. Described as intelligent, motivated with a heart to help those in need, Polichetti is a role model who, having received Confirmation in 2013, proves it’s never too late to display one’s faith.
Holy Family Parish, Union Beach
Luke Quinn, a junior in St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, has been active in the youth group in Holy Family Parish, Union Beach, for the past three years. As a member of the youth group, he can always be counted on to bring his insights to discussions and activities. Along with being an altar server in the parish, he is also a Boy Scout and has been presented with a variety of awards. Quinn is constantly learning and eager to embrace his faith and educational goals.
St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan
This young man takes the lead when planning activities and encourages others to help as well. A junior in St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, Sanchez is a mentor to the younger members of his youth group and uses his gifts to inspire others. He has used his musical talents to play in the Christmas Carol concert, and is also a dedicated Boy Scout, who has received his Pope Pius religious medal and will soon achieve Eagle Scout rank. Sanchez is also an altar server and helps with special liturgical celebrations in the parish.
St. Barnabas Parish, Bayville
This senior in Central Regional High School, has many gifts and talents that she shares willingly with those around her. Chelsey Sands is very respectful, kind, thinks of others before herself and will go out of her way to help and stand up for those in need. Her personal drive to live her faith and her enthusiasm to put her faith into action has had a great impact on all aspects of her life and those around her.
St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford
The parish youth minister describes Sarah Stearn as being “the light of Christ that shines forth in all that she does each and every day.” A junior in Shawnee High School, Medford, Stearn has been an active member of St. Mary of the Lakes Youth Ministry Program since the fifth grade. She participated in the junior high program, and continued into high school youth ministry where she has been an active member for three years A true disciple and witness to her faith, she shares her time and talents with younger students by serving as a catechist in the parish religious education program and during the summer at Vacation Bible School.
St. Joan of Arc Parish, Marlton
Described as a leader, Jen Suter has served on the executive board of the parish youth group, where she has been a member for the past four years. A hard worker, she steps up and takes charge of planning and running events. A friend to everyone, she reaches out to new members to make them feel welcomed.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Highlands
Serving as a member of her parish youth group for the past six years, Sophia Trinidad is a member of the executive council and also participates in many service activities. A junior in Middletown High School South, Trinidad is also very active in her school’s Key Club, serves as a peer leader for incoming freshmen and coordinates the freshmen orientation. In her community, she shares her gifts volunteering in Riverview Medical Center where she helps serve the patients. For Trinidad, service is very important as she helps in her parish, her school and her community.
St. Catherine Laboure Parish, Middletown
This senior from Middletown High School North, Casey Tumblety, is a dedicated member of his parish youth group, taking on the role of mentor to the younger members this year. Tumblety is not afraid to express his faith openly. He is described as being spiritually and emotionally strong and a diligent and conscientious student. In school, he is a member of the National Honor Society and is also an avid bowler on both his high school varsity team and recreational leagues. He is an inspiration to those around him, stepping up when needed with a positive outlook on life, focusing on the good in people and letting others know he cares.
St. Rose Parish, Belmar
Connor Varley, a senior in Marine Academy of Science and Technology, Highlands, brings the joy of the Gospel to others. With his enthusiasm for all opportunities – social, service or spiritual – he draws people to him with his compassionate and gentle spirit. He brings his all to activities, which includes bringing his own set of knives to showcase his mastery of vegetable chopping for monthly soup making benefiting the St. Vincent de Paul Conference in St. Rose Parish, Belmar.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Moorestown
Described as an authentic witness to his Catholic faith, Michael Voyack has been an active member of the parish youth group for the past four years, serving on the leadership team for two years. Involved in his community, this senior in Moorestown High School has volunteered with Catholic Charities’ Emergency Services in Delanco for four years. In Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, he is a member of the parish Praise Band where he shares his musical talents at parish liturgies including as a musician for the annual Lenten presentation of the Seven Last Words of Christ.
Divine Mercy Parish, Trenton
Grounded in her faith and a role model to all young people is how Jessica Yuhas, a sophomore from Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, has been described. An altar server for seven years, a member of the children’s choir for four years, a volunteer in the parish religious education program and summer Bible camp are just a few of the ways she is involved in parish life. As a volunteer with the parish youth group, Yuhas regularly helps with the monthly food distribution. In school, she has performed in the school play and with the concert choir. She has a joyful exuberance for life, sharing her enthusiasm with everyone she meets.[[In-content Ad]]