The Catholic Youth Organization, CYO, was implemented as a diocesan program in 1947, by then-Bishop Brady. His purpose in establishing the CYO was to coordinate the various phases of youth activity incorporating spiritual, cultural, social, and athletic pursuits. In so doing, the program was set to promote the Church’s influence upon the leisure time of Catholic young people in the diocese. In July of 1967, then-Bishop Primeau restructured the youth organizations into the Diocesan Youth Department incorporating CYO, Catholic Scouting, and other youth activities. The CYO now functions as the primary athletic component of parish activities and operates under the aegis of the Secretariat for Education and Formation.
CYO exists to complement the training and direction given to our youth by the Church. As such, the primary emphasis of the CYO has always been to support and strengthen parish-based programs in their formational mission. By engaging young people in an area of interest, athletics, parishes have a unique opportunity to extend a welcoming hand into the life of the Church, to tell our youth that the community is strengthened by their presence and participation.
CYO Athletics is governed by the Diocesan Athletic Board, a regulatory and policy- making body that functions to oversee player eligibility, tournaments, coaches’ accreditation, rules clinics and all other components of the diocesan athletic program. The Board is comprised of volunteers of various backgrounds, dedicated to young people and the adults who coach them.
The CYO Athletic Board of the Diocese of Manchester exists to serve and promote the Church’s formational mission among the youth of our diocese. By providing athletic leagues and tournaments for young people, the Board supports parish youth ministry programs in the learning areas of sportsmanship, competitiveness, physical exercise and teamwork. By mandating accreditation of coaches, the Board monitors the quality of adult role models by providing training in adolescent psychology and Christian ethics as well as in the practical areas of health-related issues and first-aid. In service to both the parent community and the parish community, the volunteer members of the CYO Athletic Board are dedicated to the evangelization of our youth, open to ecumenical collaboration and promoters of Gospel values in the particular area of their unique apostolate.