Italian Catholic Federation Branch President Al Restivo (below) announced a new program that will provide recognition to seventh and eighth grade students who are parishioners of or attend St. Bede School. The program, named the Distinguished Student Service Award Program, is designed to recognize students for service to their school, their church and their community.
“Our ICF organization is a service-oriented group of Catholics dedicated to fulfilling the Gospel message through service to others. In keeping with this objective, we agreed to work at encouraging young people in our parish to follow the advice of St. Francis of Assisi who had said that we must preach the Gospel at all times, using words only when necessary,” said Restivo.
Newly elected First Vice President Mark Mannarelli will manage the new ICF branch program. He will closely coordinate with school principal Ralph Valente and Moira Arjani, director of Religious Education. The program began on Dec. 1 and applications are available at the parish and school offices. Applications will be due by Jan. 30, and awards will be presented in February.
In announcing the program Restivo said that all too often students are awarded for academic excellence, but that other students who work hard at helping others are not always recognized.
“We have several scholarship programs that recognize academic achievement, but what I felt was missing was recognition for those kids who very often quietly reach out to do Christian service and by example live out those compelling words of St. Francis. Our program is designed to single them out for recognition and a cash award. As we roll out this program, it is our hope that next year we will be able to expand it to high school students as well.”
Students from any elementary or middle school in the city who are members of the St. Bede parish are encouraged to submit applications. Further information can be obtained by calling (818) 952-2847.