• on March 30, 2021

Twenty-One Teens to be Honored as Outstanding Christian Leaders at Twenty-third Annual Diocesan “Eagle of the Cross Award”

The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Eagle of the Cross Award. The Eagle of the Cross, created by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) and introduced to the diocese in 1999, is given each year to a group of extraordinary high school upperclassmen who model the dedication, integrity, values and promise for Church and society.  The award is presented to teens in the six counties of the Diocese of Youngstown who model Christian discipleship and exemplify the qualities of moral integrity, prayer, good works and Christian leadership in their school and parish communities. While a limited number of recipients are chosen for the Eagle of the Cross Award, they represent many admirable young people around the diocese.

This year’s twenty-one recipients were chosen from 51 nominations that highlighted parish, school, and community youth involvement.  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. The recipients of the 2021 Eagle of the Cross Award, as well as all of the nominees, are commended for their positive witness to their Catholic Christian faith and the value of youth involvement in parish, school and community, particularly in this past year during the pandemic.

Following Ohio Department of Health guidelines, an Evening Prayer and Awards Presentation will be held BY INVITATION ONLY on April 14.  However, interested parties can watch the St. Columba Cathedral Live-streaming starting at 7:00 p.m. online at:  https://doy.org/media/etclive-2/

2021 Eagle of the Cross Award Recipients:

Name                                      Grade  High School                            Parish/City

Recipients demonstrating outstanding involvement in the parish and larger community:

Columbiana County:
Victoria Flores                        12        Columbiana                            Holy Trinity
Emmanuel Heestand              12        United Local                           St. Jude
Grace Witmer                         12        Columbiana                            St. Jude

Mahoning County:
Aaron Ferguson                     12        Canfield                                  St. Michael
Alannah Marie Hetzel            12        Boardman                               Christ Our Savior
Justin David McLemore         12        Springfield Local                    St. Paul the Apostle

Portage County:
Brooklyn Duguay                   12        Aurora                                     Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Stark County:
Anthony Joseph Jones            12        Perry                                      St. Joseph, Massillon
Reagan Phillips                      12        Hoover                                   Little Flower
Aja N. Shriver                         12        St. Thomas Aquinas               Regina Coeli

Trumbull County:
Lena Dunkerly                        12        Hubbard                                  St. Patrick, Hubbard
Giovanni R. Mileto                12        Hubbard                                  St. Patrick, Hubbard
Patrick Michael Joseph Wilson 12     Ursuline                                   St. Stephen, Niles

Recipients demonstrating outstanding involvement in a diocesan Catholic school:

Name                                      Grade                                      Parish/City

Canton Central Catholic High School:  (Stark County)
Blake Abbott                            12                                          St. Mary, Massillon
Barrett Christopher Scheatzle  12                                           St. Michael the Archangel

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School:  (Mahoning County)
Steven Hiner                           12                                            Holy Family
Anna Hughes                          12                                            Holy Family

Recipients demonstrating outstanding involvement in a diocesan Catholic school (continued):

Saint John Catholic High School:  (Ashtabula County)
Morgan Anderson                   12                                            Our Lady of Peace
David J. DiSalvatore              12                                            Our Lady of Peace

Ursuline Catholic High School:  (Mahoning County)
Megan Brockway                   12                                            Holy Family
Nikolas Hackett                      12                                            St. Rose

The Diocese congratulates these teens on the outstanding Christiasn witness they have shared in our faith communities.

The parents, nominators, teachers, mentors, pastors and youth ministers of these youth are also congratulated for inspiring such outstanding teens.  For more information on the Eagle of the Cross Awards, or other programs of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, contact  Cindee Case,  Director, at 330-744-8451 or ccase@youngstowndiocese.org.

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