The Diocese of Providence recognized three members of the Saints community this weekend at the Catholic Youth Ministry Awards ceremony. Jaylee Day, Clare Bradley and Cooper Skenyon were presented with the St. Timothy Award, and staff member and alumna Amy Garces received the Companions on the Journey Award.

The St. Timothy Award is the highest national youth ministry award a Catholic youth can receive. It is awarded based on nominations that detail the youth’s integrity, leadership and service. For the first time, each Catholic school in the state is allowed to nominate two Catholic students for this award.

All three students are members of Lasallian Youth and the Kindness Club. Aside from that, each serves the Saints community and their parish communities in different ways.

Saint Raphael Academy nominated junior Clare Bradley and senior Cooper Skenyon for the St. Timothy Award. Both are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Saints, and members of the Cultures Club Steering Committee.

SRA’s Two Nominees

Clare serves the SRA community as an altar server and by singing in liturgical choir. In addition, she is a student government leader. Outside of Saints, Clare volunteers with McAuley House at its annual art show and donor event. At her home parish of St. Paul Church, she helps with Vacation Bible Camp and youth group. She also serves meals at the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen.

“Clare is a candle in a sometimes darkened world. In a quiet, unassuming way, she shines the light of Christ to everyone she encounters. She leads, she helps and she serves without being asked and makes the world a better place,” said Steve Vargas, director of campus ministry at SRA

Our second nominee, Cooper, is a member of the Drama Club, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and captain of the Dance Company. He is a founding member of the SRA Cultures Club, a multi-cultural club that raises awareness of the various ethnicities and cultures at school. In his parish community at Saint Martha’s Church, he teaches catechism.

“Cooper lives his faith by his kindness and service to others. He goes out of his way to seek out the needs of others and fulfill them.” Mr. Vargas wrote in his recommendation. “He tutors struggling students when they need him. He sits with those who sit alone at lunch and introduces them to others. He invites others to serve with him. He brings new students to Kindness Club meetings.”

Another Honored by the Diocese

Rejoice in Hope Youth Center Director Patricia Kane nominated Jaylee for the St. Timothy Award. A musically gifted senior, Jaylee participates in the SRA Instrument Program (percussion section leader), Drumline (captain), Jazz Band, and she plays the cajon for the Liturgical Choir. Additionally, she plays several instruments, including guitar, piano and trumpet, among others. She has also played in the pit orchestra for a few Saints performances.

Jaylee is a member of the Diocese Leadership Team, a group of high school students who lead their peers in the diocese. She has also volunteered for the CYO Haunted Labyrinth. Further, she serves as a retreat leader for CYO, her parish at Immaculate Conception, and at SRA.

Ms. Kane said in her nomination, “Jaylee is the kind of person you are drawn to be around. Not because she is loud or needs to be the focus of everything, but for quite the opposite. Her quiet example and selfless service are like the rhythm in God’s symphony, ever present and steady. She is a shining light of faith for her church, school, the Diocesan Youth Leadership Team and the Rejoice in Hope Youth Center communities.”

Companions on the Journey

Saint Raphael Academy nominated Amy Garces for the Companions on the Journey Award. It is the highest National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry adult award for excellence in youth ministry, commitment to young people, outstanding leadership, commitment to on-going education and formation, and longevity in ministry. Mrs. Garces is not only the administrative assistant to the vice principal of student life, but she is also a member of the SRA Class of 1994.

Mrs. Garces is a kind and helpful presence in the East office. She coordinates many of the service activities at Saints, including coat drives, toy drives and food drives. She volunteers to help with open houses and alumni events at SRA. She is a member of St. Philip Church in Greenville.

“Whether by interacting with students, parents, faculty or staff, Amy is always kind, compassionate, joyful and caring to all she meets. She takes seriously her mission to evangelize and share the Gospel so that others may come to believe. A true servant-leader, Amy never seeks recognition for her work or what she does behind the scenes but does it always as if she were doing it for Christ himself,” wrote Fr. Ryan Simas. SRA chaplain.

Saint Raphael Academy extends its congratulations to all!