The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has awarded Connor J. Hetzel, grade 12, of Boardman from St. Charles Borromeo Church; Natalie Ricciutti, grade 12, of Canfield from St. Michael Church; and Anthony Velasquez, grade 11, of Canfield, also from St. Michael, the 2012 Eagle of the Cross Award. The Eagle of the Cross, created by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry and introduced to the diocese in 1999, is given each year to a group of extraordinary high school juniors and seniors who model the dedication, integrity, values and promise for church and society. In all, 28 young people from the Diocese's six-county district won the award.
This year's candidates were chosen from 67 nominations that highlighted parish, school, and community involvement of the youths. A maximum of two Eagle of the Cross Awards are presented to students in each of the six diocesan Catholic high schools, and up to three involved in the parishes in each of the six counties of the diocese. The 28 teens were presented their award at the 14th Annual Eagle of the Cross Awards Liturgy and Banquet on Wednesday, April 18, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.