On Sunday, June 25th at the 10:30 am Mass Msgr. Maniscalco will award the first recipients of the newly created "Spirit of St. Thomas Youth Awards. The recipients will be: Jeffrey Hasselbring, Elizabeth Jose and Tabetha Steiner.
In his weekly column in the bulletin Msgr. Maniscalco writes: "In my time as pastor of our parish, it has been my privilege to recognize the dedication of many of our parishioners, as manifested by the depth and variety of their participation in parish life, through the bestowal of the Spirit of St. Thomas Award. Next Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. Mass, we are expanding this recognition to the younger members of our parish by bestowing the Spirit of St. Thomas Youth Award.
"In establishing this award, I hope to draw attention to how much our parish benefits from the dedication of our younger parishioners, something which we perhaps take too little note of. An additional hope is that this recognition will encourage more of our young people to seek in our parish an excellent outlet for their energy, talent and idealism. Above all, I wish to show to the young people receiving the award how grateful we are to them and how much we thank them and thank God for their sharing their gifts with us.
"The first recipients of the Spirit of St. Thomas Youth Award are:
"Jeffrey Hasselbring: Jeff has been volunteering in the Religious Education program for 18 years. He started out as a helper in the classroom as a Confirmation candidate when his mom was a catechist. In High School, Jeff worked with the sixth graders in understanding the stories of the Bible. He taught seventh grade for one year and is currently guiding the eighth grade Confirmation candidates on their journey toward receiving this sacrament. For the last eight years, Jeff has arranged his schedule as an Air Traffic Controller to assist at the Confirmation Masses. We appreciate the wonderful dedication of all our teachers who assist in making Confirmation run so smoothly. Jeff has also been a part of the Altar Server Ministry at St. Thomas and served as a Eucharistic Minister.
"Elizabeth Jose: Elizabeth has been faithfully serving in the Altar Server Ministry since she was in fifth grade, often serving at the 7:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday. As a middle-schooler, Elizabeth always wanted to serve as a reader at Mass and now she lectors at the 6 p.m. Mass. She was commissioned as a Eucharistic Minister this year and now serves at the 7:30 a.m. Mass in that capacity. Elizabeth also volunteers for Human Services by creating banners for the “Birthday Blessing Boxes.” She received The Girl Scout Gold Award for creating “A Safe Driving Program.” Elizabeth recently graduated from Sacred Heart Academy and will be attending Brooklyn College in the fall.
"Tabetha Steiner: Tabetha has been an active volunteer in the St. Thomas Religious Education Program since she was a student at St. Thomas School. She started as a teacher aide in the classroom and helped out in the office. While she was in high school, Tabetha was a wonderful substitute for the catechists who were absent. Over the past few years, she has tutored a special needs student. This student received the Sacrament of Confirmation in March. Tabetha also organized and facilitated the Baby Shower for Momma’s House for three years. She now helps her sister, Sabrina, run this program. She was also the recipient of the Maureen Nolan Scholarship. Tabetha is currently in the nursing program at Molloy College.
"I invite all our parishioners to join in our celebration next week to honor these wonderful young people."