Julia Schmidt looks at serving others as a natural extension of Catholicism.
“I always thought that was the most important thing,” the parishioner of Our Lady of Grace in Parkton said. “When everyone else was at Senior Week, I wanted to be student-teaching with my parish school. It’s a sense of doing a little bit more than what everyone else wants to be doing.”
The recent graduate of Hereford High School was one of 38 teens honored with the Eagle of the Cross June 9. The Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Division of Youth and Young Adult Ministry awards the medal to those who have displayed apostolic action, Christian leadership and moral integrity.
Schmidt was humbled to be in such company.
“There are so many nice people,” Schmidt said. “I came in here and everyone smiled. You know how rare that is for teenagers? It’s a very welcoming environment.”
Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien distributed the awards, saying that they were a sign that the teens were doing something God wanted them to do. They heard the call to serve.
“I know you all are conscious that it’s just not this world we’re working for,” the archbishop said. “We’re always striving for something better. We’re hard-wired for God. There is a desire for the infinite in each one of us. You realize how great it feels to do something for others.”
The archbishop prayed that they would continue to be an extension of God in their daily lives.
Scott Miller, acting director of the division of youth and young adult ministry, said the honorees, typically nominated by their parish or school, are inspirations to their peers and adults.
“These young people are not only living out their roles of the Church of today, they offer us all so much hope for tomorrow,” Miller said.
Schmidt, who will attend St. Mary’s College of Maryland, said she will continue to live her faith.
“There’s always something you can do for people,” she said. “You just have to look around.”
2010 Eagle of the Cross
Recipients, with school or parish affiliation
Christopher Bacon, Loyola Blakefield; Amanda Biederman, St. John, Westminster; Melissa Blevins, St. Mary, Pylesville; T. Daniel Brennan, St. Francis of Assisi, Fulton; Gregory Broadwater, St. Peter, Westernport; James Carter, Resurrection, Ellicott City; Amanda Ceraldi, Our Lady of the Chesapeake, Lake Shore; Francesca Cerquetti, Maryvale Preparatory School; James Cyr, St. Ignatius, Ijamsville; Mark Dushel, Our Lady of the Chesapeake.
Also, Aubrey Garwood, Holy Family, Middletown; Melissa Hilleary, St. Maria Goretti High School; Kimberly Hutchinson, Mount de Sales Academy; Sarah Jordan, St. Brigid, Canton; Jeffrey Kane, Cardinal Gibbons School; Jaqlyn Karn, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel High School; Scott Lombardo, Most Precious Blood, Gardenville; Stasia Manak, Resurrection of Our Lord, Laurel; Jessica Metcalfe, St. Timothy, Walkersville; Jessica Michaels, Holy Trinity, Glen Burnie.
Also, Sarah Michaels, Seton Keough High School; Nicholas Mullins, Prince of Peace, Edgewood; Timothy Pillsbury, Archbishop Curley High School; Samantha Placzek; St. James, Boonsboro; Phil Rasinski, Calvert Hall College High School; Natalie Ridgely, Maryvale Preparatory School; Tim Rogers, Calvert Hall; Angela Salemi, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, Woodstock; Julia Schmidt, Our Lady of Grace, Parkton; Kevin Shipley, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish.
Also; Molly Sinnott, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Crofton; Carson Smith, St. Andrew by the Bay, Annapolis; Meghan Sprankle, Archbishop Spalding High School; Claire Spurrier, St. Pius X, Rodgers Forge; Colleen Strauch, Institute of Notre Dame; Amelia Tearnan, Mercy High School; John Terebetsky, St. Stephen, Bradshaw; Kelly Thompson, St. Ignatius, Hickory.