Catholic Athletes for Christ

As described on the Diocese of Trenton New Jersey's website - "Catholic Athletes for Christ, the nationwide organization that brings the love of sports and the Church under one roof, was brought to the Diocese in 2013 by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., after he was instrumental in bringing it to the Catholic University of America, Washington, during his presidency. The diocesan representatives and athlete leaders of CAC gather annually to discuss the progress of this program."


It is with great Pride that I report back to you about our "Honorary Captains" from the Oct. 27 football game vs. Middletown South! Seven residents from New Jersey's Veterans Memorial Home were "honorary captains" at the coin toss to the tune of a standing ovation from both sides! They enjoyed an exciting game from our sidelines and were honored again by Coach Sininsky as our Lancers huddled around them in victory during his post-game speech.

Of the 300+ residents of the NJ Veterans Memorial Home, more than 100 are WWII veterans in their mid to late 90s. Sadly, some have outlived their families and rarely get visitors. Our student-athletes have dedicated more than 800 hours of service to the Veterans Home in the past year, and thousands of hours over the past four years as Catholic Athletes for Christ! We have forged real and authentic friendships and it was awesome to share a "Friday Night Out" with our friends!

— Patrick Smith, SJV assistant athletic director, director of Christian Service & CAC coordinator

Our varsity cheerleaders "Served those who Served" at New Jersey's Veterans Memorial Home" as Catholic Athletes for Christ Oct. 13. Our girls transported residents to and from activities, assisted staff in activities for the day: including trivia, exercise club and bowling. The SJVHS community values the dignity and worth of human life in ALL of its forms, including the elderly and disabled. Our students showed love and compassion in many instances by just being present to those who were lonely or down. This CAC field trip was moderated by Retired US Army Colonel Samuel Fuoco, head cheerleading coach, Mrs. S and Pat Smith, assistant athletic director.

Please take a peek a the photos from the field trip (in the slideshow above) to witness the good that our students do in our community while representing themselves and our school community extremely well!

— Patrick Smith

The culmination of CAC at SJV has manifested in Living Charity. Our "Charism" at Saint John Vianney is rooted deeply in Service. Our Cathletes racked up more than 1,000 hours of Christian Service for our neighbors in need over the past school year. More than 800 of those hours were dedicated to elderly and disabled Veterans at New Jersey's Veterans Memorial Home in Edison where our student-athletes "Served those who Served." CAC at SJV lives the Gospels and promotes our Catholic Identity in our community by giving back!

— Patrick Smith

In an effort to publicly "Put God Above the Game" Saint John Vianney Cathletes pray at the start of our athletic events. A few years back Coach Dan Duddy (Donovan Catholic) and I discussed having our Football and Cheers programs pray publicly together after the coin toss when they came to SJV. Our Announcer read a CAC announcement followed by both teams including the Home/Away bleachers praying the "Our Father" together. You could actually hear the spectators and teams praying over and louder than our PA System together. This past year when RBC came to SJV the two rival teams praying together before the game gained national attention via the CAC website. Our athletic teams, in a conscious effort to promote our Catholic Identity at SJVHS, pray publicly at all our athletic events. We are not better than our rival public schools but different in a very good way ... we are Christ centered!

— Patrick Smith

"Our student-athletes at St. John Vianney High School have consciously and publicly promoted our Catholic Identity for our school community," said Patrick Smith, the school's assistant athletic director, director of Christian Service and coordinator for Catholic Athletes for Christ. "This past fall, members of our athletic administration, maintenance staff and Art Club at SJVHS painted a centrally located building down at our Athletic Field with our 'CAC @ SJV' logo for all to see."

A CAC @ SJV banner was unvieled at the school's first Catholic Athletes for Christ Meeting of the fall and it will be "hung in our gym under the scoreboard with the caption 'Putting God Above the Game'."

"Be it known to all who enter our athletic facilities at SJV, that Jesus Christ is the ever present reason for our School," Smith said. (Oct. 1)