The Eagle of the Cross from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) is the highest recognition for a Diocese to confer on a youth. It is given to extraordinary youth, who selflessly serve their peers and youth ministry in unwavering commitment and dedication.
The Eagle of the Cross is given annually in the Diocese of Youngstown to high school juniors and seniors who show particular zeal in the improvement of their parish youth ministry program, high school ministry teams or other ministries within the Diocese. The nominees must be Catholic, and exemplify the qualities of moral integrity, prayer, good works and Christian leadership. A maximum of two Eagle of the Cross Awards are presented to students in each of the six diocesan Catholic high schools, and up to three involved in the parishes in each of the six counties of the diocese.
Nominations Opening for the 2016 Eagle of the Cross Awards
The Eagle of the Cross is the highest award our diocese gives to high school juniors and seniors that have demonstrated Christian values and leadership at their parish and/or Catholic high school. Recipients are chosen from the WRITTEN NOMINATIONS submitted. If you know an outstanding high school junior or senior in our diocese, be sure to nominate him/her for the 2017 Eagle of the Cross Awards. Recipients will be honored at a Mass and Banquet on May 2 in Youngstown, and all nominees receive a certificate of acknowledgement. The form has been posted at: http://youngstownoyyam.weebly.com/eagle-of-cross-awards.html. Nominations are DUE by 3:00 p.m. ET on Friday, February 19 (please mail by February 17).
Nominations for the Eagle of the Cross may come from anyone: parish staff, high school personnel, parishioners, family members or peers. Each nominator must write an essay addressing the nominee's participation in parish and high school youth ministry programs, as well as providing examples of the qualities mentioned above. The award is not geared toward quantitative service hours, but to the integrity of the individual and how well they are perceived as an outstanding Catholic Christian.
St. Joseph Parish Recipients
1999 – Wendy Trares
Among the first class of the Eagle of the Cross awardees for the Diocese of Youngstown, Wendy has been a member of St. Joseph’s since age 2 and attended K-8 at St. Joseph School. She was recognized for her involvement in the parish with youth ministry, Appalachian Experience, Music Ministry, the Ox Roast Fair, and other parish activities. As a student at Crestwood High School she was involved in choir, NHS, and drama. She is also a lifetime Girl Scout member. Proud family members attended the banquet on April 8, 1999 and the parish congratulated her on this honor.
2000 - Sarah Clapp
A former St. Joseph School student who attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Sarah was recognized in the spring of 2000. An endearing quality that Sarah exudes is joy in helping people. She readily smiles, chats, and makes people feel like they’ve known her for years. She is ready to help, to take on responsibility, and to witness for her beliefs boldly and confidently. In class she participates in discussion and relishes debate on topics of faith and practice with gusto. Sarah is pictured here with the entire 2000 class (front row, far right).
2012 – Austin Anderson
Congratulations are extended to Austin Anderson who was chosen as an Eagle of the Cross Award recipient for 2012. Austin’s devotion to the faith is just amazing. He is actively working on many Knights of Columbus projects. In 2011 he took part in a project to construct a wheel chair ramp for a local citizen in need. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout when he was 15. Austin was honored along with other recipients of the Diocese at a Mass and banquet on April 18, 2012 at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish in Youngstown.
2013 – Caitlin Chartier
On April 18, 2013, Caitlin Chartier was awarded the Eagle of the Cross Award from the Diocese of Youngstown. Caitlin was awarded this honor for her personal discipline toward the practice of our Catholic faith, her volunteer efforts on behalf of the children of our parish, and her participation in our parish’s annual mission trip, Appalachian Experience. She isn’t afraid to swim against the current following her conscience in spite of obstacles. Please join us in congratulating Caitlin for the receipt of this honor.
2014 – Alex DeHoff
Congratulations to Alex DeHoff who was awarded the Eagle of the Cross at a celebration by the Diocese of Youngstown on March 30, 2014. Alex has a view of life that is accepting of hardship and hopeful for the future. He regularly volunteers for PSR classes and the annual Ox Roast Fair at his parish. He has gone to Virginia to help with home repairs with the Appalachian Experience Ministry. He will be joining the Marines after graduation because he wants to help others by improving himself. Best wishes!
2015 - Sean Fejes
On April 28, 2015, Séan Fejes was among the 29 recipients of the Eagle of the Cross from our diocese. A junior at Bio-Med Science Academy in Rootstown he is recognized for his volunteer work with Appalachian Experience since 2012 as well as his involvement with Music Ministry, the Ox Roast Fair, Liturgical Ministry, and the Evangelization Project. Congratulations to him and to his parents, nominator, teachers, mentors, and pastor for inspiring this outstanding teen.
2016 - Becca Rowe
On April 14, 2016, Becca Row was among 29 young people who were awared the Eagle of the Cross from the Diocese of Youngstown. Nominated by Brigid Fejes, Becca is a senior at Bio-Med Science Academy in Rootstown and has served as an altar server, assists with the PSR program, and volunteers at the Ox Roast Fair and Crestwood Youth Cheerleaders. She also is President of Venture Crew (co-ed Boy Scout organization) and mentors younger kids at Lakeside Camp and uses social media to share what she learns about God. Thank you Becca for your positive witness to your Catholic Christian faith and the value of youth involvement in parish, school and community. [Pictured: Mike, Jacob, Becca, Peggy & Connor Rowe]