May 13, 2016

Seven receive Catholic Youth Organization’s highest honor

Seven members of the archdiocese received the Catholic Youth Organization’s highest honor—the St. John Bosco Medal—from Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin during an awards ceremony at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on May 4. Medal recipients Elaine Alhand and Mark Gumbel are in the first row. In the second row, posing with Archbishop Tobin are Bill Sylvester, left, Patty Koors, M.J. Stallings, Joe Matis and Dan Lutgring. (Submitted photo by Christine Metzger)

Seven members of the archdiocese received the Catholic Youth Organization’s highest honor—the St. John Bosco Medal—from Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin during an awards ceremony at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on May 4. Medal recipients Elaine Alhand and Mark Gumbel are in the first row. In the second row, posing with Archbishop Tobin are Bill Sylvester, left, Patty Koors, M.J. Stallings, Joe Matis and Dan Lutgring. (Submitted photo by Christine Metzger)

By John Shaughnessy

Dan Lutgring gets emotional as he shares a story that he believes all parents, teachers and coaches of children should hear.

The story unfolded on a baseball field where 8-year-old children were playing in a league in which an adult pitches the ball to the players. Lutgring was the pitcher, and standing next to him was a boy playing the position of “pitcher’s helper.”

When Lutgring made a pitch, a batter hit a pop-up in the direction of the pitcher’s helper. The boy circled under it, his feet dancing to get in the right spot to make the catch. As the ball started to fall toward him, the boy had a determined look on his face as he reached out his glove to catch it. Yet the ball glanced off the boy’s glove and dropped to the ground.

“I told him, ‘Nice try,’ ” recalls Lutgring, a member of Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Indianapolis who has coached football, basketball and baseball in the archdiocese’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) for 22 years. “I then got ready to make another pitch and was in my wind-up when I heard the boy say, ‘I wish I would have caught that. My dad would have been so proud of me.’ ”

CYO recognition highlights work of both adults and young people
 
2016 Msgr. Albert Busald Award recipients
- Christ the King Parish—Tom Hornbach and Jennifer Wood-Thompson
- Holy Cross Church—Jim Larner
- Holy Spirit Parish—Bob Layton
- Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish—Gerald Rieger
- Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish, Greenwood—John Guerrettaz
- Our Lady of Lourdes Parish—Mary Grace Deery
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Carmel, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese—Sally Caltrider
- Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish—Matt Dillon
- St. Barnabas Parish—Amy Lezon
- St. Christopher Parish—Nancy Trusnik
- SS. Francis and Clare of Assisi Parish, Greenwood—Andrea Pawlik
- St. Joan of Arc Parish—Emily Waldron
- St. Jude Parish—Kirby Schott
- St. Mark the Evangelist Parish—Jeanine Currans and Mark Currans
- St. Michael Parish, Greenfield—Shirley Ferree
- St. Pius X Parish—Stephen Troy
- St. Simon the Apostle Parish—Don Snemis
- St. Susanna Parish, Plainfield—Joe Sandifer
- St. Thomas Aquinas Parish—Sarah Webler
 
2016 Spirit of Youth Award recipients
- Good Shepherd Parish—Emry Himes
- Holy Spirit Parish—Mitchell Struewing and Alan Lozano
- Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish, Greenwood—Garrett Schura
- St. Anne Parish, New Castle—Kathleen Hamilton and Mary Margaret Welch
- SS. Francis and Clare of Assisi Parish, Greenwood—Isaac Howe
- St. Jude Parish—John Erickson, IV and Madison Sanneman
- St. Mark the Evangelist Parish—Abigail Currans, Louie Hibner and Justin Hornek
- St. Michael Parish, Greenfield—Matt Hays and Julia Murphy
- St. Roch Parish—Charles Brehob and Nicola Wood

Lutgring stopped the pitch, turned to the boy, put his arm around him and said, “Son, your dad is proud of you no matter what you do.”

As Lutgring recalls that moment from a few years ago, his voice cracks with emotion before he composes himself and says, “It reminded me that kids need that affirmation from their parents and their coaches and their teachers. They need to hear them say, ‘You’re doing a good job, you’re out here, and you’re trying to do everything you can at your best level.’ That’s all we can ask of a child. Ever since, I tell the kids when I see they’ve given great effort. Even as adults, we need that affirmation at times.”

That combination of caring, dedication and perspective recently led Lutgring to receive the highest honor bestowed by the archdiocese’s CYO—the St. John Bosco Award. He is joined in this year’s class of recipients by Elaine Alhand, Mark Gumbel, Patty Koors, Joe Matis, M.J. Stallings and Bill Sylvester.

Learn more about each winner:

 

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