Over a dozen Catholic teens awarded prestigious honor by Youngstown Diocese

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The Eagle of the Cross is given to a group of high school juniors and seniors each year who model the dedication, integrity, values and promises of the Church and society

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(WKBN) – On Wednesday, the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown announced 29 local teenagers who are recipients of the 2020 Eagle of the Cross award.

This year’s students were chosen from a pool of 67 nominees.

The Eagle of the Cross, which started in 1999, is given to a group of high school juniors and seniors each year who model the dedication, integrity, values and promises of the Church and society.

These students model Christian discipleship and exemplify the qualities of moral integrity, prayer, good works and Christian leadership in their school and parish communities.

Recipients demonstrating outstanding involvement in the parish and larger community:

  • Columbiana County
    • Brianna Horvath, junior at East Palestine; Our Lady of Lourdes parish
    • Karlie Grace Blissenbach, senior at Southern Local; St. George parish
    • Matthew Charles Garcia, senior at East Palestine; Our Lady of Lourdes parish
  • Mahoning County
    • Caitlin C. Pinto, junior at Ursuline; St. Charles parish
    • Alyssa Marie Ritter, senior at Boardman; St. Stanislaus parish
    • Steven Vasko, senior at Boardman; St. Stanislaus parish
  • Trumbull County
    • Jacob Buttar, senior at Niles McKinley; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Niles parish
    • Frank Edward DePascale, junior at Champion; St. William parish
    • Douglas Gurdak, senior at Lakeview; St. Robert parish
  • Ashtabula County
    • Gwendalyn Fuentes, senior at St. John School; Assumption parish
    • Julianne Marie Sheldon, junior at St. John School; Our Lady of Peace parish
    • Lauren Sukalac, senior at Jefferson; St. Joseph Calasanctius parish
  • Portage County
    • Katelyn Houlanhan, senior at Aurora; Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish
    • Thomas Sebastian Packard, senior at Aurora; Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish
    • Connor Rowe, Bio-Med Science Academy; St. Joseph, Mantua parish
  • Stark County
    • Julia Majors, junior at Canton Central Catholic; St. Barbara parish
    • John Smithberger, senior at Jackson; St. Michael the Archangel parish
    • Donny Woodward, senior at Jackson; St. Michael the Archangel parish

Recipients demonstrating outstanding involvement in a diocesan Catholic school:

  • Mahoning County
    • Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School
      • Louis M. Gentile, senior, St. Charles parish
      • Gina M. Ricciardi, senior, St. Charles parish
    • Ursuline Catholic High School
      • Riley Adair Burke, senior, St. Joseph, Austintown parish
      • Andrew Gerchak, senior, St. Christine parish
  • Trumbull County
    • John F. Kennedy Catholic High School
      • Zoe Therese Schlosser, junior, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish
  • Ashtabula County
    • Saint John Catholic High School
      • Kathleen Kovach, junior, St. Joseph Calasanctius parish
      • Hannah McClure, junior, Our Lady of Peace parish
    • St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School
      • Emily Davala, senior, Basilica of St. John parish
      • Luke R. May, senior, St. Paul, North Canton parish
  • Stark County
    • Canton Central Catholic High School
      • Isabella Rose Zeigler, senior, St. Mary, Massillon parish
      • Matalan Nikishin, senior, St. Peter parish

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