Kaylee Moynihan poses in front of her new residence at the Newman Centre on the University of Toronto downtown campus Photo courtesy of Kaylee Moynihan

Youth continues ministry thanks to new scholarship

By  Julie Hall, Youth Speak News
  • November 27, 2015

TORONTO - Kaylee Moynihan is a true servant of the Church. At the young age of 19, she has already spent years working in parish communities. She said that volunteering and working in youth ministry has allowed her to grow in confidence and in her faith.

Moynihan is the inaugural recipient of the Fr. Paul Lennon and Doreen Cullen Scholarship from Catholic Charities. The scholarship was established following the 100th anniversary of Catholic Charities in 2013. It honours two former executive directors.

The scholarship is geared towards students studying social work who are going into their second year of university, demonstrate an involvement within their parish community and who are in need of financial aid.

The scholarship was originally meant for two students, $2,500 for a male and $2,500 for a female. When Catholic Charities came across Moynihan’s long list of achievements, it was decided to combine the money and award $5,000 to her.

“As Kaylee is such an exemplary student, the scholarship committee decided to present the entire scholarship to her,” said Jack Panozzo, social justice program manager at Catholic Charities. “She is not only a fine student but she is also very active in campus ministry.”

With the money from the scholarship, Moynihan was able to live at the University of Toronto’s Newman Centre, a residence for Catholic students and a centre of youth ministry in downtown Toronto.

“This scholarship was a reminder that God always provides,” she said, “And if it is in His will for me to continue studying social work then He will get me through it.”

In addition to diligently studying towards a bachelor in social work at Ryerson University, Moynihan has continued to be involved within her community. Her time at the Newman Centre has also altered some of her perspectives on the important role which social work and ministry has to play in our always changing world.

“Ministry is something that is constantly changing for me,” said Moynihan. “I’m really learning that people from all walks of life desire a relationship with Christ and I think that a huge part of ministry is finding a way to either introduce them to Christ or support them while growing deeper in the relationship they already have with Him.”

Among many achievements and an impressive list of volunteer experiences, Moynihan recently offered training at the Office of Catholic Youth training day about how to minister to youth with intellectual disabilities, shared a testimony at Steubenville Toronto and spoke on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning about serving people at the Newman Centre.

Moynihan is also a student campus minister at the Newman Centre and volunteers with EDGE and Confirmation programs at St. Monica’s parish in Toronto.

“God has blessed me so much by letting me see how He reaches out to His children and changes an indifferent heart into one so passionately in love with Him,” she said.

In regards to the future, Moynihan is optimistic about what she has to come.

“I’m still trying to understand where God is calling me to go, but it has always been my dream to work for the Catholic Children’s Aid Society.

Unless He tells me otherwise my plan is to continue to work towards that one day. In the meantime I am trying to get as much experience as I can in the field of social work.”

(Hall, 17, is a candidate for the philosophy program at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont.)

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