The CYO Athletic Board of the Diocese of Manchester exists to serve and promote the Church’s formational mission among the youth of our diocese. By providing athletic leagues and tournaments for young people, the Board supports parish youth ministry programs in the learning areas of sportsmanship, competitiveness, physical exercise and teamwork. By mandating accreditation of coaches, the Board monitors the quality of adult role models by providing training in adolescent psychology and Christian ethics, as well as in the practical areas of health-related issues and first-aid. In service to both the parent community and the parish community, the volunteer members of the CYO Athletic Board are dedicated to the evangelization of our youth, open to ecumenical collaboration and promoters of Gospel values in the particular area of their unique apostolate.
The Catholic Youth Organization, CYO, was implemented as a diocesan program in 1947, by Bishop Matthew Brady. His purpose in establishing the CYO was to coordinate the various phases of youth activity incorporating spiritual, cultural, social, and athletic pursuits. In so doing, the program was set to promote the Church’s influence upon the leisure time of Catholic young people in the diocese. In July of 1967, Bishop Ernest Primeau restructured the youth organizations into the Diocesan Youth Department incorporating CYO, Catholic Scouting, and other youth activities. The CYO now functions as the primary athletic component of parish activities and operates under the diocesan Secretariat for Evangelization and Education.
CYO exists to complement the training and direction given to our youth by the Church. As such, the primary emphasis of the CYO has always been to support and strengthen parish-based programs in their formational mission. Namely, by engaging young people in an area of interest, athletics, parishes have a unique opportunity to extend a welcoming hand into the life of the Church, to tell our youth that the community is strengthened by their presence and participation.
CYO Athletics is governed by the Diocesan Athletic Board, a regulatory and policy- making body that functions to oversee player eligibility, tournaments, coaches’ accreditation, rules clinics, and all other components of the diocesan athletic program. The Board is comprised of volunteers of various backgrounds, dedicated to young people and the adults who coach them.
Each year, CYO basketball players and cheerleaders, Grades 3 through High School, who are usually competing against each other on the basketball court or in a cheerleading tournament, join together on the same team for one common purpose–to help those in need.
This year, over 700 CYO players, coaches and parents donated personal care items and their time to form massive assembly lines in four locations across the Amoskeag (Manchester) and Souhegan (Nashua) Deaneries to pack the items into Personal Care Packets for the needy.
CYO youths gathered at St. Joseph Parish in Nashua, St. John Neumann in Merrimack, St. Raphael Parish in Manchester and St. Elizabeth Seton in Bedford collectively assembled over 2000 Personal Care packets that contained such items as pair of warm socks, tooth brush and tooth paste, comb, shampoo, razor and shaving cream, bar of soap, deodorant, wash cloth and hand cream. The bags were checked for contents, sealed and packaged in bulk containers and then were distributed to
It was truly an impressive sight at each of the locations to see the cooperation and enthusiasm among the CYO members. They saw this as an opportunity to serve and give back to their community while reflecting reflecting upon how fortunate and blessed they are to have their own personal needs taken care of.
Many thanks go to the CYO Youths, parents, and event coordinators. We look forward to the CYO Day of Caring next year.
For more information, please contact:
Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire
153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
Fax: (603) 669-0377
© Diocese of Manchester