Cleveland Bishop emeritus Anthony Pilla and Auxiliary Bishop emeritus Roger Gries are among the members of the 2018 CYO Hall of Fame Class. More than 200 people attended the induction ceremony on Jan. 21 at the Double Tree Hotel in Beachwood.
Also inducted were Ursuline Sister Mary Jean Raymond, Karl and Jeannie King, Jim Lawless Sr. and John Zielinski. Joseph Jira was inducted posthumously.
Receiving Diocese of Cleveland CYO Recognition Awards were Russell Fischer, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Parma; Debbie Hall, St. Thomas More Parish, Brooklyn; Thomas Kaim, St. Hilary Parish, Akron; Kerry Kaminski, St. Mary of the Falls Parish, Olmsted Falls; Carol and Jim Lepi, St. Ambrose Parish, Brunswick, and Jeanne Weber, St. Francis de Sales Parish, Parma.
Bishop Pilla was recognized for providing a compelling vision and support to help CYO thrive in the diocese for 25 years.
Bishop Gries was honored for his work at Benedictine High School and beyond through the creation of the Bishop Roger Gries CYO Good Shepherd Fund. The fund has awarded more than $350,000 to CYO programs and athletes to keep CYO’s guarantee to never turn away any child from CYO due to financial need.
Both bishops participated in CYO athletics during their childhoods and remain active CYO supporters.
Sister Mary Jean coached and organized CYO at St. Agatha and St. Aloysius in Cleveland, touching the lives of countless children and families. Her father, Joe Raymond, is a past CYO Hall of Fame inductee, which makes them the first daughter and father pair inducted.
The Kings, of St. Clare Parish in Lyndhurst, have worked together as coaches and athletic directors to inspire children and athletes as Christian athletes.
Jira founded CYO at St. Charles Parish in Parma and served in many roles for decades at both the parish and diocesan levels.
Lawless, of St. Gregory, Sacred Heart, and St. Paschal, coached multiple sports with a special care for children in need as he provided resources to help them and their families.
Zielinski of St. Joseph, Cuyahoga Falls, served for decades as a CYO coach, athletic director and fundraiser in addition to providing CYO leadership for the Diocese of Cleveland.
CYO began in 1937 in the Diocese of Cleveland. It annually serves more than 20,000 young people and families throughout the eight-county diocese.