3 from Bishop Hendricken honored by Diocese Catholic Youth Ministry

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Three members of the Bishop Hendricken High School community were honored by The Most Reverend Thomas J. Tobin, D.D., Bishop of Providence, at The Catholic Youth Ministry and Scout Awards Celebration at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Sunday, March 3.

Matthew Hajjar (’19) and Aidan Blanchette (’20) received a St. Timothy Award, a national award given by the Diocese of Providence representing the highest honor a diocese can present to a Catholic youth. Students who win this award, "exhibit Christian leadership in parish, school, and/or community settings."

“We at Hendricken are so proud of the commitment that Matthew and Aidan have demonstrated not only to their faith, but to bettering their communities,” said Thomas Gambardella, Bishop Hendricken Director of Campus Ministry. “They are shining examples of our school’s mission to bring every member of our community into a closer relationship with God, and for that we are truly grateful.”

Hajjar, a senior from West Warwick, is a peer minister, school retreat leader, Special Olympics volunteer, National Honor Society member, varsity athlete, and is within the top 10 academically in the senior class. Hajjar is a member of SABER, a Hendricken group that advocates for military veterans’ issues. He’s attended the ACTION Leadership Conference in Florida, and Steubenville East conferences. Hajjar is a parishioner at Sts. John and Paul Church.

Blanchette, a junior from Pawtucket, is a member of the Pro-Life Club at Hendricken, a varsity athlete, musician in the concert band, and a boy scout. Blanchette is also an active leader in the youth group at his parish, St. John Paul II in Pawtucket.

Vincent Mancuso, Bishop Hendricken Vice President of Mission Integration, was presented with The Companions on the Journey Award. The award is the highest adult recognition sponsored by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. It is given annually in the Diocese of Providence to Catholic adults who have been active members in parish, school, and/or diocesan activities for youth for at least five years.

“I am truly honored to have been chosen for this prestigious award,” said Mancuso. “I am proud to share this with the entire Bishop Hendricken community.”

Mancuso has served the Bishop Hendricken community since 1988, and over the course of his career has served as a coach, teacher, assistant principal, principal, and now, vice president. In his current role, Mancuso oversees the integration of the school’s mission and Catholic identity into curriculum and student life, including the development of a four-year advocacy program for students to fight for the poor and marginalized.

Mancuso has also accompanied students on service trips to Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. In 2019-2020, he will spearhead Bishop Hendricken’s new Leadership Academy. He resides in Coventry, and is a parishioner of Sts. John and Paul Church.

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