Bishop’s Awards for 2019 recognise efforts of young students

Congratulations to the eight young people, including four from schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, who received awards at the 2019 Bishop’s Catholic Youth Mass held last Friday at St John’s Chapel in Maitland.

A special part of the ceremony included a reflection from past recipient of the Catholic Young People’s Award, Baden Sinclair, followed by a hymn sung by Baden and Serafina Angeli.

The Bishop’s Awards aims to encourage and recognise the continued efforts of students and young people in the Diocese who have contributed to the community through their parish, church group or church agency. 

Each successful applicant received an award of $1000 which may contribute towards the student’s or young person’s education or faith formation by assisting them to attend events such as World Youth Day, Diocesan Youth Retreat or a music ministry. The successful applicants also received a Certificate of Recognition.

“It was great to gather in St John’s Chapel as it links our history of more than 150 years with our young people who are actively engaged in ministering in each of their parishes,” said Teresa Brierley, the Diocese’s Director of Pastoral Ministries.

“It is our hope that these young people form the foundation of the emerging history of our Diocese.”

Congratulations to all the following recipients:

Makayla Boere – Year 7, St Clare’s High School, Taree

Serving on the altar until 2016, Makayla has been showing her commitment to her faith and worship through music. Makayla says that her voice is a gift from God that He wants her to share with others. She views her role in the parish as one of “leadership by example”. When singing at Mass, Makayla will often encourage others to join her, demonstrating a commitment to being a good role model for others.

In 2017, Makayla was the recipient of the Mary MacKillop Award for “never seeing a need without filling it”, was nominated for the Citizenship Award for 2018 at St Clare’s and has always been an active member of Mini Vinnies. Makayla feels that if she can encourage others to follow and know God through her example then she will be happy.

Fisiinaua Taufahema – Year 7, St Bede’s Catholic College, Chisholm

Serving on the altar in the Beresfield and Mayfield Parishes for the last three years, Fisiinaua has played a key part in helping his parish priest. Fisiinaua is always seeking further involvement in his parish and hopes to inspire other young people to join him

Fisiinaua believes in being respectful, leads by example and has demonstrated this in his leadership role as School Captain, participation in Mini Vinnies, mentoring junior altar servers, supporting new students and by serving on the Social Justice Committee.

Edward Dolstra – Year 9, Hunter River High School

Serving on the altar for the past two years, Edward also plays a role in motoring younger servers as well as his younger siblings. Edward is involved in welcoming parishioners, is a Minister of the Word and participates in the Offertory procession.

Edward feels blessed to be part of his Parish and able to openly express his strong belief in God through his Parish participation. Edward demonstrates his Gospel values by helping those around him and is mindful of his responsibility to be a good role model for his siblings and other young people attending Mass.

Thomas Kristofferson – Year 9, Charlton Christian College

As a senior altar server, Thomas takes pride in assisting and mentoring younger servers in all parish ceremonies. Thomas participates in his parish by baking for special occasions, assists his parents with church cleaning and occasionally accompanies his father in assisting the elderly.

Thomas was a part of his school’s mission trip to Darwin where he worked with Aboriginal children in remote communities. Thomas shares his gift of music and plays his guitar in worship. Thomas actively participates in leadership activities at school and was a mentor to junior students who needed support. This as a middle school leader and sports captain. Thomas is a keen listener who believes that by listening to other people’s stories he can make connections with his church community.

Max Noble – Year 11, St Francis Xavier's College, Hamilton

As an active member of his parish since a young age, commencing alter service in Year 3, Max has participated in parish youth masses with the primary school students and diocesan groups such as the Cambodia Immersion, Caritas and John Sandy’s Refugee Hub.

Max is the 2019 Solidarity Leader at St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton.

He also believes strongly in Jesus’ commandment to “love one another” and seeks to model this commandment in daily life

Joachim Angeli – Year 12, St Francis Xavier's College, Hamilton

After being an altar server from 2010 to 2017, Joachim stepped down from rostered service. He has since established a training group and, with two other youths, trains newly-recruited altar servers in their duties and responsibilities.

 Joachim also reads at Mass, is an extraordinary minister and helps with children’s liturgy.

Joachim and his two friends attended the Family Faith Forum in 2018 to give a presentation on their youth ministry and to provide ideas and inspiration to other Parishes.

Joachim values and demonstrates his Gospel values through empathy, kindness and forgiveness. He sees God as our hope for the future and reaches out to Him through prayer and song as a means to spiritual growth.

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