Catholic Youth Organization
A Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) is an organization for young Catholics. Usually each group uses the church for meeting and gathering, although some have their own premises. It was initiated by Bishop Bernard J. Sheil of Chicago in the year 1930.
The organization's main purposes are guiding the young Catholics to live a Christian life from a young age, developing trust between peers, and living a happy life in a positive manner.
Activities vary in accordance with local culture but often includes prayer, singing, charity, sales, sports and visiting the sick. In the United States, CYO is mainly known for its organized sports programs, notably boxing, basketball, baseball, track and field, and volleyball, as well as marching bands. Its athletic contests are often so competitive that CYO has been jokingly described as "Crush Your Opponents."
There are also active units of this organization in the Philippines. Most units are choirs of their parishes, and they also organize various activities under sports, spiritual, social, cultural, formation, ways and means, and membership committees. All of these projects have helped in nurturing the faith of the Filipino Christian youth, their holistic growth, leadership capabilities, cultural and artistic talents, love for the family, and for the community. CYO in the Philippines was founded by Fr. George J. Willman in the year 1938, with Loreto Parish in Sampaloc, Manila as the pilot unit. Its National Chaplain, Emeritus is Msgr. Francisco Tantoco, and Fr. Jerome Cruz as National Chaplain. CYO's Founder's Day is celebrated every 29 June, which is also Fr. George J. Willman's birthday.
The largest Catholic youth organization in the world is CFC-Youth for Christ, which is based in the Philippines and established in 160 countries worldwide together with its community, Couples for Christ. Another Youth movement that has risen from the continent of Asia is Jesus Youth, spread across 25 countries in the world. There is a gathering every two (or three) years for the young Catholics of the world called World Youth Day. Rexband, the music ministry of Jesus Youth is the only music band from Asia to perform during World Youth Day 2002, held in Canada. In 2008, it was held in Sydney from 15 to 20 July.
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