Catholic Youth Organization for boys and girls in all schools, Grades 1-12
The Catholic Youth Organization is a parish-based program,
which provides opportunities for youth to grow in faith and
understanding of their Church through involvement in parish,
regional, and Archdiocesan life. The Catholic Youth Organization’s
five phase approach to youth ministry: athletic, social, cultural,
service and spiritual, is a model of youth ministry which involves
youth from elementary grades through high school in youth related
activities and programs. Through a total youth ministry concept,
the Catholic Youth Organization collaborates and/or cooperates on
all of the youth-related programs offered by the Parish.
The emphasis of the Catholic Youth Organization is to enable and to
empower youth to become responsible participants in their faith community.
What is The C.Y.O Program?
The SFA C.Y.O. (Catholic Youth Organization) is one of the oldest continuing
ministries of our parish and currently sponsors 21 teams in 10 sports for parish
children in grades 1-8. The sports are: football, basketball, volleyball, baseball,
softball, track, cross country, soccer, field hockey and cheerleading.
For parish children in grades 9-12, the C.Y.O sponsors 3 teams in basketball
and one in volleyball.
C.Y.O competition at St. Francis got started when our auditorium (Leonard Hall) was
completed in 1955 and our Holy Name Society sponsored a team of high school boys. In the ensuing years, with the assistance of many adult volunteers, C.Y.O programs have expanded dramatically. Currently, an Advisory Board of adult volunteers administers our C.Y.O activities with an annual budget of over $20,000, of which about half comes from the United Way and the rest from registration fees for children participating in sports and special fund raising events such as our Monte Carlo night. The registration fees help defray the cost of uniforms, equipment and referee fees.
While the athletic program is the C.Y.O.’s largest activity, there are many other projects for athletes and non-athletes. C.Y.O members help prepare and package food for the Aid for Friends ministry; they deliver flowers to shut-ins at Christmas and Easter, and conduct a coat drive for the poor in Philadelphia and Chester. this spring, C.Y.O boys and girls served as mentors and friends for competitors in the PA Special Olympics. In past years, the C.Y.O has sponsored entries in the Archdiocesan 1-act play competition. During the past year, four of our teams were C.Y.O Champions: our 5-6 grade football team coached by Stan Kutufaris finished the season undefeated; our 11-12 grade boys basketball team coached for the past 7 years by Milt Hedrick were champions of C.Y.O Region 13; our 7-8 grade girls volleyball team and our 5-8 grade girls cheerleading team each won first place in C.Y.O competition.
Win or lose in competition, the C.Y.O programs provide a valuable supplement in the faith-filled development of our youth. In addition to group prayer before and after competition, when timely, the teams attend Mass before games.
C.Y.O Volunteers – Parish Hall of Fame
The Parish Catholic Youth Organization has honored many men and women who have devoted themselves to the parish children by running the C.Y.O. Here are some names entered into the Parish Hall of Fame:
- Mark & Kathy Clatterbaugh who have given of their time in coaching tracks and basketball for almost 10 years.
- Joan Scanlon who was instrumental in starting our one act plays that won several Archdiocesan contests. (Joan is deceased. Her husband accepted the award for her.)
- Ann Jeffers Kullman ran the girls track teams for 10 years and was a tremendous role model for them. (Ann is deceased. Her husband and sons accepted the award for her.)
- Jack Manning who attended school at SFA and went on to be coach of C.Y.O basketball teams even while attending college himself.
- Bob Simpson was involved in the C.Y.O for almost twenty years beginning in the late 1960s and he did everything from raising funds to being the “boss”.
- Stan Kutufaris has been turning out champion football teams in our 5th and 6th Grades for twenty five years. He has instilled Christian principles in our young boys in their formative years. To watch Stan deal with these young boys is almost like watching a younger version of Joe Paterno.
- Nick Kutufaris is following in his father’s paths and has been coaching for 10 years. He is a product of our program and continues to give back to our children.
- Tom Wimer has been motivating the youth of our parish for almost 30 years. He is involved with the Life Teen Program and coaches sports teams. (Tom received a standing ovation.)
- John McGrory has been in the parish since 1972 and was the very successful coach of the varsity football team for twenty years. He turned out men of character and some of his players went on to further recognition in their sport.
- Dan McTague was one of the originators of our C.Y.O in 1966. He coached, ran fund raisers, helped establish one act plays and kept the C.Y.O going in its early years.
- John and Maureen Peters were recognized for their leadership roles in the organization for the past seven years.
- George Schneider was recognized for years of dedication as C.Y.O moderator.
- Marty Stenson, the master of ceremonies for the evening, was surprised at the special award presented to him for dedication to C.Y.O in the parish.