The CYO In Practice

CYO Logo

While enjoying the spirit of competition, St. Bernadette CYO attempts to balance competition with good sportsmanship, fairness in play and personal and spiritual growth.

The program encourages all to participate as a coach, a helper, a fan, a consoler and a parent. It discourages poor spectator behavior and poor sportsmanship on the field.

We begin the program at the Kindergarten (and TYKE) level and incorporate fun, family evenings to welcome new families into the program in a non-intimidating manner and increase the competition and skill levels as they grow.

St. Bernadette CYO Mission

The primary purpose of the CYO at St. Bernadette’s Parish shall be to conduct the parish based youth programs at St. Bernadette that will foster personal and spiritual growth and commitment to the youth of the Parish. The Organization develops and provides the resources for the programs of its memberships and addresses the needs of the youth involved in the program.

National & Local CYO History

CYO LogoNationally, the CYO can trace its beginnings to the early 1930s in the Archdiocese of Chicago, under the inspired and dynamic leadership of the late Auxiliary Bishop Bernard J. Sheil. As a prison chaplain, Fr. Sheil never forgot the many walks he took with men on their way to the gallows, assured in his heart that their destiny could have been different if they had only had more constructive outlets in their youth. Convinced that not enough was being done to counter-act the admiration that young people had for gangsters and bootlegging hoodlums during the roaring 1920’s, he proposed a plan to his Ordinary, the late George Cardinal Mundelein, which he felt would engage the energies, desires, ambitions and dreams of youth.

In the mid 1940s, twenty five Catholic businessmen decided to inaugurate a local Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), comparable to what was being founded and growing in popularity in many other dioceses at the time… In the early days this consisted mainly of running athletic leagues with about 25-30 teams, generally coming from the parochial school enrollment. The CYO became a non-profit corporation.” “From a very modest beginning, the Washington CYO program developed broader dimensions in order to meet the needs and interests of parish youth groups. (Excerpts from the site.)

© St Bernadette CYO Silver Spring, MD