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CYO in Service to Others

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CYO in Service to Others

 "Sport is a human activity of great value, able to enrich people's lives. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, she is working in the world of sport to bring the joy of the Gospel, the inclusive and unconditional love of God for all human beings."
– Pope Francis "Sport at the Service of Humanity," 2016




CYO teams are not only sports teams but are Christian communities of young people, a part of the youth ministries in their Catholic schools and parishes.  As Christian communities, CYO teams are called to be of service to each other and to others!

The "CYO Points of Emphasis" are: "Spirituality, Service and Sportsmanship."  CYO teams are asked to commit each season to a service project for their school, parish or community.

Scroll Down to see a sample of Service by CYO teams! This page will include some of the outstanding examples of service to the community and to others.  We hope that many of our teams will be inspired to answer the call to Mercy and Service.

Listed below are several examples of our CYO teams in service to others. If your CYO team has been of service in a recent project, and you would like them to be included on this page, please email a brief description of your project and a photo or two.  You can


Turning a CYO Track Meet into an Opportunity for Service? 

Coach Monica Maiwand and the St. Francis CYO Track team transformed two of their Saturday morning Diablo Valley CYO Meets into opportunities to help feed others.  The team hosted a "Cereal Box Drive" asking athletes to bring one box of cereal to donate.  The cereal was then donated to the Monument Crisis Center, Concord .  St. Francis runners ran for ribbons but also for the "Imperishable Crowns!" described by St. Paul (1 Cor. 9:24)!



Girls' CYO Volleyball  Season
Begins in Pink – Emphasis on Fun and Service!

The Girls' CYO Volleyball season began with preseason tournaments in preparation for league play. Two tournaments were held in October – one for 7th and 8th grade teams sponsored by St. Bede CYO, Hayward, and another for 6th grede teams, sponsored by Metro League at Assumption gym, San Leandro.
In addition to exciting tournament play, the color pink was evident at both tournaments, as both featured proceeds to be donated to ending Breast Cancer.  Thanks to tournament directors, Becky Marino and Janice Pontes, and to all who participated, not only for great volleyball play but for giving back through service!

Pictured above and below are photos from St Bede's Volley for the Cure.




St. Leander 8th Grade CYO Team Collects Food
for St. Vincent de Paul

St. Leander CYO, San Leandro, 8th Grade Teams, along with players from St Felicitas CYO and former players  recently collected bags of food around San Leandro neighborhoods to donate to St. Vincent de Paul.  This is the 7th year of the food drive!
Two years ago, Coach Chris Alvarez wrote: "My St.Leander's 8th grade National team, along with help from players from my two previous teams from St.Leander and St.Felicitas, passed out nearly 4,000 bags and flyers in the neighborhoods of San Leandro on October 10th. On the 17th we went back through the neighborhoods and collected about 400 bags of groceries for the needy. The food was given to St.Vincent de Paul for distribution from their food pantry. We would like to thank everyone that gave. Over the past 5 years, my basketball teams have gathered over 1,300 bags of food in our annual food drives."
Thank you, St. Leander CYO, for helping to "Feed His Lambs!"  Pictured above is a 2017 photo of the food collected with some of the participants.




CCOP 5th Grade Girls' Basketball Team Adds
Christian Service to their Practice!

The 5th Grade Girls' CYO Basketball team from the Catholic Community of Pleasanton added Kids Against Hunger to their basketball practice.  Coach Sara Heise wrote: " Instead of practice, we decided to make the world a bit better!  Together with my boys PYB team we packed over 4K meals at Kids Against Hunger. We had a blast serving others!  This is a super easy outreach that all our teams could easily do!"   Well done CCOP!


CYO "Saints Among Us" Were Presented with All Saints Award

At a recent Sunday Mass, Father Ramon Gomez, pastor of All Saints, Hayward, presented several outstanding parishoners with the annual "All Saints Award," recognizing outstanding service to the parish community.  The awards are given annually to members of the parish who "serve and inspire us ... ordinary people who do extraordinary works for God and attempt to witness to the world that their faith does make a difference."  Among the awardees this year were Melissa Smith, CYO Track/Cross Country Coach and Girls' Athletic Director, and Mosese Otuhiva, CYO coach for eleven years.  In addtion to her CYO service, Melissa is active with the local St. Vincent de Paul.  Mosese is also active as chair of the local Tongan Community and the annual Fiesta.  Congratulations to these outstanding volunteers, recognized for their service to CYO and to others!



Transfiguration  Girls' CYO Basketball Teams Help
"Kids Against Hunger"

Coach Jessica Skaf and the 3rd Grade Girls' CYO Basketball teams from Transfiguration Parish, Castro Valley recently helped at Kids Against Hunger, helping to feed 2376 children.  For more information on Kids Against Hunger, Click Here to Vist their Website. Go Wildcats!



All Saints Teams Visit Seniors at Christmas

Teams from the All Saints, Hayward, CYO program recently spent time during their Christmas vacation to visit Senior residents at the St. Regis Retirement Center in Hayward.  Participants from the CYO basketball, volleyball, cross country and track teams gathered in the gym to make Christmas cards to present to the seniors. The players then walked to St. Regis where they spent time with the residents and sang Christmas carols. Over 50 young people participated, led by CYO athletic director Melissa Smith.  Pictured above are the players making cards.



Corpus Christi 7th Grade CYO Boys' Basketball Team
at St. Mary's Center

The Corpus Christi School, Piedmont, CYO 7th grade basketball team cooked and served meals to senior adults at the St. Mary Center in Oakland.  The team, led by coach Mike Desler, is pictured above.  Click here for rmore information about St. Mary's Center.



Remembering the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Pope Francis declared a "Jubilee Year of Mercy," ending in 2016, calling the Church and all of us to "find the joy rediscovering and rendering fruitful God's mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time."

In announcing the Year of Mercy to the Oakland Diocese, Bishop Barber wrote, "Our Diocese is fully embracing this joyful celebration with many different programs and events, but, above all, by promoting the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. It is my deepest desire, as father and pastor of the Church of Oakland, that each Catholic might be willing and able to practice them and truly become “merciful like the Father,” not only during this Holy Year, but always. "

The Call to Mercy does not end ... we continue to be called by the Lord to serve others! Take the above examples as inspiration, thinking of your team as more than a sports team but a Christian Community called to Serve Others!