The secret to winning on the field, and also in life, is to respect my teammates and also my opponent. No one wins by himself, not on the field or in life! May no one isolate themselves or feel excluded! – Pope Francis
Did you know that the first Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) was initiated in Chicago in 1930? Its first three activities for the at-risk youth in the middle of the Great Depression were boxing, theater productions, and educational outreach to the working class communities in that city. We are going back to the roots of CYO with our persistent programs, dedicating our Parish Family in supporting the youth of the Naples area without any discrimination of economic or religious status. We will be focusing on sports and wellness, social and spiritual, and arts and music programs, with weekly and monthly activities. We are officially kicking off the first active CYO in Florida this Fall, thanks to all of your amazing gifts and prayers!
Over the past several years, it has become clear that Catholic families and youth in Naples are slowly being engaged in fellowship at various locations, including Christian and non-religious groups. Whether it is due to a sports program, a relationship, or a school activity, these families are being fed in their needs for programs specific to their age groups and their interests. They are then turning to those same groups for spiritual fulfillment once they have been fully integrated. This is a clear illustration of needs that are simply not provided for in Naples by the Catholic Churches, and it is wonderful that those groups have been serving our community for so many years. However, these programs and activities are core foci of the Catholic Church, and CYO in particular, in other areas of the country. When CYO’s are active in those communities, the families and youth stay with the church and draw more people to the faith.
The St. John CYO is an umbrella program that will house sports, social, arts, after-school activities, and service programs for the youth of Naples. The main focus of CYO is to provide low-cost, persistent, and consistent events and activities that will enliven and engage all the youth and draw them closer to Jesus and the Catholic Faith through their relationships and fellowship with each other. That will also allow for the families to come together at the same time and for the common purpose of providing a safe and exciting place for their children. And we now have these programs and activities at Saint John the Evangelist. We invite you to learn more at our CYO Social Hour on September 8, from 6:30 PM to 8 PM, in the Seminar Room.
You can also learn more information about our Capital Campaign at: http://www.sjecc.com/future