Three Students Awarded by Diocese of Metuchen

Michelle H. Daino
The Diocese of Metuchen’s Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry presented special awards to three Mount Saint Mary Academy students during a ceremony on Saturday, February 3, at St. Francis Cathedral in Metuchen. Bishop James F. Checchio congratulated Theresa Morrison ‘24, Mikayla Sharif ‘24, and Mary Agugliaro ‘25 on being recognized for their extraordinary spiritual and outreach endeavors. Theresa and Mikaya were nominated by the Mount, and Mary was nominated by her parish, the Church of St. James in Basking Ridge.
Theresa, Mary, and Mikayla received the St. Timothy Award, which is given annually to high school youth who live as disciples of Christ, set a positive example for other youth, witness to their faith by exhibiting Catholic morals and integrity, demonstrate Gospel values through service to others, and exhibit Christian leadership in parish, school, and/or community settings.
“I am so grateful to receive the St. Timothy Award from the Diocese of Metuchen in recognition of my contributions to the Mount Saint Mary community,” said Theresa. “It was an honor to receive the award from Bishop Checchio in my home parish amidst friends and family. I hope my leadership and faith example help others draw closer to Christ.”

At Mount Saint Mary, Theresa is a member of the Student Council Executive Board, a Kairos Retreat student leader, and a Peer Minister. For the past three years, she has participated in JusticeWorx. Theresa has organized and facilitated a fundraiser at the Metuchen Municipal Pool for Swim Across America, a cancer research foundation. She also volunteered at Ozanam Shelter in Edison and created turkey boxes for the hungry. Theresa is an altar server at St. Francis Cathedral School in Metuchen. She recently delivered freshly baked bread and flowers to parishioners who lost loved ones.
A Peer Minister and Kairos Retreat student leader, Mikayla participated in a summer service trip to Philadelphia where she distributed care packages and, repaired gardens and sidewalks. Mikayla has also participated in Thanksgiving food drives and supplied hygiene products to the needy. She works as a receptionist at her parish, the Church of Saint Helen in Westfield, and has served as a camp counselor.

Mikaya said, “I am extremely honored to be recognized as a recipient of the St. Timothy Award for my commitment and faith to service. Knowing I can be an impact for others by spreading love means the world to me! I want to thank the Mount community for this opportunity and support, along with the Diocese of Metuchen.”

Mary is also a Peer Minister at Mount Saint Mary. She serves as a youth minister through BOLD Ministries in Basking Ridge where she has facilitated and led youth retreats. Mary has attended and worked at Catholic HEART WorkCamp service trips in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She has also attended Holy Week mission trips in Philadelphia.

“Being nominated to receive the St. Timothy Award was such an honor! It was a beautiful experience to be surrounded by a community of young people, like me, that have a desire to effect change in the world through strong moral character and a foundation of Catholic values,” said Mary. “I am so blessed to have a support system of role models at Mount Saint Mary, St. James Parish, and within my family, to encourage me on my journey of faith.”

Katherine Schmidt, Theology Department Chairperson at Mount Saint Mary Academy, stated, “The Mount is incredibly proud of the commitment to service that so many members of our Mount student body exemplify. In particular, this year’s recipients of the St. Timothy Award are shining examples of Christian leadership and the values imparted by the Sisters of Mercy. These young women epitomize the spirit of Venerable Catherine McAuley through their determination to go out into the community and serve, while also recognizing the importance of showing care and kindness to those right in front of them.”

“We commend them on their tireless commitment to live out the Gospel and bring Christ to all they encounter, and we congratulate them on this great honor from the Diocese of Metuchen,” concluded Mrs. Schmidt.
© Mount Saint Mary Academy