Young people have boots laced!

On Sunday Bishop Bill Wright announced the recipients of the Annual Bishop’s Awards.

Bishop Bill wore a mitre that was given to him while he was at World Youth Day in Krakow in 2016. He reminded those gathered of the words Pope Francis spoke at the World Youth Day vigil. “The times we live in do not call for young ‘couch potatoes’, but for young people with shoes, or better, boots laced.”

Young people of the church are being called to get off the couch, and that is exactly what these award recipients have done. These young people have been active and made a difference in their communities. 

Bishop Bill, along with CSO Parent Liaison Officer, Cath Garrett-Jones; President of Federation of P & F Associations Giavanna Angeli and Chair of the Diocesan Council for Ministry with Young People, James Elliott, presented the 2017 Bishop’s Awards to the following recipients:

Jack Piscopo – St Clare’s Taree

Jack receives his Bishop’s Award for his committed involvement in his parish and school communities. As a member of the Forster-Tuncurry Parish, he has displayed a commitment to his parish through his involvement in music ministry and altar serving. He participates in school liturgies and reflection days. Jack has been recognised by his school community as a leader and was a recipient of the 2015 St Clare’s Citizenship Award. He was elected to the Student Representative Council in 2016 as one of 4 student representatives. Jack has been a volunteer at the CatholicCare Soup Kitchen in Taree and participated in ANZAC day marches and the Blessing of the Fleet.


Kathleen Soo − Corpus Christi Parish

Kathleen receives this Bishop’s Award for her commendable involvement in her parish of Corpus Christi. Kathleen is involved in welcoming activities, handing out the parish bulletin, singing, proclaiming the Word at Mass, participating in the procession of the gifts and involving herself in the “Pure Flame” youth group. She also assists during parish events such as dinners. Kathleen endeavours to live her Catholic faith in her school and broader community. She is keen to be a support to her peers, models respectful behaviour and is mindful of the needs of others and her capacity to offer support.


Asa Sire – St Therese’s, Blackbutt North Parish

Asa receives this Bishop’s Award for his commitment to his parish and broader community. He is a leader of Music Ministry and is involved in hymn selection, organisation of musicians and the provision of appropriate technology. Asa is a volunteer in the St John’s Ambulance where he has attained the rank of Cadet Sergeant. This involves undertaking roles such as leading drills and delivering lessons to younger students. He provides first aid services in his community at events such as Cinema under the Stars. Asa has also been involved in an international competition, creating and marketing model cars.

Caprice Skinner – Catholic Young Persons Award - Our Lady of Lourdes, Beresfield

Caprice receives this Bishop’s Award for her ongoing commitment to her parish and broader community. Caprice is a member of the Parish Team and is involved in church cleaning, preparation of PowerPoints for Mass, organisation and leading the Children’s Liturgy Advent program, assisting in the preparation of the Sacraments of Initiation program, volunteering to assist with hospitality when parish gatherings are held and was a parish representative at the Ecumenical World Day of Prayer service. Caprice is the Vice President of the University of Newcastle Catholic Society and attended World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011 and Krakow in 2016. She attended the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Melbourne and Adelaide and the Marist Youth Festival in in Sydney. Caprice recently applied to become a member of the Diocesan Liturgy Council and is a previous member of the ‘Be, Grow, Show’ Youth Retreat planning committee. Caprice has raised funds for Caritas, the Heart Foundation and Cancer Council as well as being involved in the CatholicCare Night Care Van project.


Michael Smart – Catholic Young Persons Award − All Saints Blackbutt North Parish

Michael receives this Bishop’s Award for his commitment to the St Therese’s, Blackbutt North Parish. Michael involves himself in welcoming activities, singing and volunteering to proclaim the Word at Mass. Michael has raised funds for World Vision and has volunteered with the Smith Family to support children’s literacy development. Michael has been involved in LifeTeen as a youth leader. He has assisted in teaching children about their faith, organised activities and encouraged attendees as well as creating a reflective prayer space.  He has supported and assisted the St Vincent de Paul Society and attended the Australian Catholic Youth Festival.


The following Catholic Schools Students received their Bishop’s Awards during the Catholic Schools Week Mass held on 7 March at the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Kolivette Va – a member of the St Columban’s Mayfield Parish and a student at San Clemente High School, Mayfield.

Serafina Angeli – a member of the All Saints Blackbutt South Parish and a student at St Pius X High School, Adamstown.

Brianna Fogarty – a member of Singleton Parish and a student at St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton

Anthony McMullen – a member of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and a student at St Clare’s High School, Taree.

Grace Dever – a member of the All Saints Blackbutt South Parish and a student at St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton.


Brooke Robinson Image
Brooke Robinson

Brooke is Content Officer for the Communications Team in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle