Saints in the City

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Congratulations, Class of 2017!

To view photos, please click here. Photos Credit: Neil Laxamana


Click here to view the 2017 introduction letter 
Download the 2017 SitC Selection Guide


Class of 2016
Class of 2015
SitC 2016 Keynote by Michele Borba
SitC 2016 Schedule
SitC 2016 Sponsorship Opportunity


SAINTS IN THE CITY 2016coa-rgb



1971 Saint Lawrence Drive
Santa Clara, CA

Photos from Saints in the City 2016

The Diocesan Offices of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Hispanic Apostolate, and Vocations hosted the second annual Saints in the City Recognition Banquet and Keynote: Honoring Young Disciples in the Diocese of San Jose.



The Saints in the City Banquet is an opportunity for all of the leaders of the Diocese of San Jose to honor our youth who have carried the torch of discipleship with fearless faith, enduring hope and bountiful charity.

Each parish and high school selects one youth as their 2016 honoree. We recognize each of these young heroes and honor their commitment to the Great Commission and their eager response to the New Evangelization at the November 10 banquet.

Photos from Saints in the City 2016

Photos from Saints in the City 2015

SitC Banner


Saint Maria Goretti Award

In the Year of Our Lord, 1950, a young Italian girl who embodied virtue, holiness and purity was canonized a saint: Maria Goretti. From her story, young people learn to fix their sights on achieving Christian moral perfection, however difficult that course may prove.

The Saint Maria Goretti Award highlights the young saints who have given themselves freely in service for their neighbor. They are willing, determined and passionate about being and bringing Christ to the lost, least and last. Their service to the community is unparalleled as they strive to uphold the dignity and worth of everyone they encounter.

Adam Linick Church of the Transfiguration
Alexis Rambac St. Martin, Sunnyvale
Emma Cruz Sacred Heart of Jesus, San Jose
Julianne Miller Queen of Apostles
Mariana Estrada Presentation High School
Monica Valencia  St. Mary, Gilroy
Nicole Fader Most Holy Trinity
Woo Hyuk Chang Holy Korean Martyrs
Zach Contini St. Anthony
Santa Teresa Award

Saint Teresa of Avila: mystic, Carmelite, contemplative and Doctor of the Church. Her writings have touched millions of lives and her way of life has inspired many to journey into the interior castle of the soul. In her wisdom, we learn that “Christ has no body, but yours; for yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands, with which Christ blesses the world.”

The Santa Teresa Award honors the young saints who have embraced the breadth and depth of Catholic spirituality. They understand the beauty of the interior life and long to attain the greatest heights of holiness.

Benjamin McCarty St. Julie Billiart
Clara Marisol Dela Cruz St. John the Baptist
Elizabeth Docena St. Elizabeth
Garin Ballard St. Frances Cabrini
Karen Duran St. Lucy
Kelsy Salguero St. Athanasius
Natalie Pham Our Lady of Refuge
Roberto Gonzalez St. Leo the Great
Vanessa Sepulveda Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saint Thomas Aquinas Award

“To one who has faith, no explanation in necessary; to one without faith, no explanation is possible.” By universal consent, Saint Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor.

The St. Thomas Aquinas award highlights the young saints who possess a deep knowledge of the Catholic Faith. They value and respect the richness of our tradition and are eager to share and defend the truths of the universal church.

Raul Villaseñor St. Joseph, Mountain View
Saint Francis of Assisi Award

Saint Francis of Assisi astounded and inspired the Church by taking the gospel literally, following all that Jesus said and did, joyfully, without limit and without a sense of self-importance. The heart of his spirituality: living the gospel life, summed up in the charity of Jesus and perfectly expressed in the Eucharist.

The Saint Francis of Assisi Award honors the young saints who possess a spirit of apostolic outreach. They witness with the joy of the gospel and evangelize their community fearlessly.

Alexis Carles St. John Vianney
Alivia Martinez St. Francis of Assisi
Chiara Jurczak St. Thomas Aquinas
Conor Linehan Holy Spirit
David Santana Bellarmine College Preparatory
Emely Macegoza St. Catherine of Alexandria
Grisel Lopez St. Maria Goretti
Isiah Meza St. Christopher
Jenica paragas Notre Dame High School
Joann Nguyen St. Victor
Leilani Galvez St. Lawrence the Martyr
Mariela Alvarado Our Lady of Peace
Mary-Elizabeth Vogel St. Martin of Tours
Matt McDermott St. Nicholas/ St. William
Michael Joyce St. Simon
Monica Wahl St. Francis High School
Paulina Thurmann Archbishop Mitty High School
Regina Salinas Cristo Rey High School
Xuhui Nian Chinese Catholic Community/St. Clare
Kecharitomene Award

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI shares that Full of Grace—in the original Greek, Kecharitomene–, “is the most beautiful name of Mary, the one that God Himself gave her, to indicate that she has always been and will always be the beloved, elected, the one chosen to welcome the most precious gift.”

The Kecharitomene Award is given to one teen who demonstrates qualities that make a young disciple effective in the world today. The honoree possesses a zeal for evangelization and is inspired by the truths of the Catholic faith. The teen is grounded in humility and exudes the depths of faith, hope and charity in his life’s work.

Woo Hyuk Chang Holy Korean Martyrs


Quotes from pastors and youth ministers about their honorees:

“The kindness and friendship he extends to all, his heartfelt prayerfulness in liturgy, his desire to serve his peers through youth ministry and retreat ministry stand out among his peers. He has a pastoral spirit and a generous and joyful heart!”

“This is a young woman who wants to fall in love with God every day.”

“He is in constant search of ways and opportunities to put his faith into action both here and abroad.”

“Over the years, she has learned the importance of prayer and the power that derives from it. Prayer is what has guided her through her toughest battles.”

“Filled with joy especially from contact with the Eucharistic Jesus, she reaches out to her peers and even her Jewish friends to consider the faith.”

“People learn goodness, love, and compassion when they meet this young disciple.”

“She is a great example of humility and love that is the foundation for her greatness in our community.”

“Since middle school, she has been bold in reaching out to others and expressing her faith freely, totally, and faithfully. “

“People come in contact with the goodness and love of the Lord when she is around.”

“This young disciple has a natural gift of being able to spread the Gospel message to youth of all ages.”

“His testimony inspires and challenges other teens to live their faith.”

“He never fails to show Christ’s love through service.”

“It is clear to those who encounter her in all aspects of her life that this young disciple seeks to make Christ known wherever she goes.”

“This young disciple is kind, compassionate, supportive and always present to God in a reflective, unobtrusive way.”

“This young disciple brings joy with her wherever she goes.”

“She has a deep rooted faith that allows her to be a confident leader for others.”

“Her dedication to justice brings inspires her classmates to work for the building of the Kingdom of God.”

“She is a perfect example of what a disciple should be: exemplar, generous, being able to serve in all circumstances, obedient, responsible, joyful in giving her time, and talents to others.”


SitC 2015 Class


At our first Saints in the City Banquet, we honored 31 teens from across the Diocese of San Jose. Pastors and youth ministers gave witness to the unique and extraordinary virtue and leadership of their honoree.

We would like to share what some ministry leaders had to say about their 2015 honorees:

“An advocate for the poor and the human trafficked who leads other teens closer to Christ by his actions, a selfless giver to the community.”

“Recollected… committed… responsible… modest… unparalleled in grace and mature in her Catholic spirituality.”

“Children look up to him as a leader, a teacher, a role model of compassion and faith and adults look to him as a faithful servant.”

“He radiates calm joy in the Gospel, he is known to be exceptionally kind, faithful, and humble who encourages his peers to be respectful in prayer.”

“Known to speak at length with his teachers on the Word of God, he brings about camaraderie by his theatrical skills and commitment to faith.”

“What is hard for adults to do, this young man makes look easy; he is not afraid to speak about the faith in the practical situations of life.”

“Dedicated to bringing her peers to the heights of holiness.”

“A humble servant who challenges her family and her peers by her sweet example to live their faith.”

“An evangelizer by witness and word, she knows when words are necessary in spreading the faith among her peers.”

“His voice is calming, his presence is joyful, his heart is in serving his peers, he is able to break down social barriers and reach out to the ‘outcasts’.”

“A missionary to the poor, witness to the faith by deed and by theater, reaches out to other faith communities.”

“A leader among leaders in the service of the poor and peer alike.”

“The embodiment of a servant’s heart.”


Please pray for these inspiring youth as they prepare for college and careers.  May they continue to be courageous witnesses to the joy of discipleship!




2016 KEYNOTE: MICHELE BORBAmicheleborba

Saints in Our House: How Parents and Teens Connect
More information

SCHEDULE: Nov 10, 2016

BANQUET SCHEDULE (Invitation Only)

St. Lawrence Gym
5 pm Doors open, appetizers
5:40 – 7:30 Dinner and Program


St. Lawrence Church
6:30 Doors open, Praise & Worship
7:30 – 8:30 Keynote by Michele Borba: “Saints in Our House: How Parents and Teens Connect”
8:30 Closing Address


The Saints in the City Banquet is an opportunity for all of the leaders of the Diocese of San Jose to honor our youth who have carried the torch of discipleship with fearless faith, enduring hope, and bountiful charity.

Parishes and Catholic high schools in the Diocese of San Jose select one youth striving for holiness, witnessing to the world the joy of discipleship. We recognize each of these young heroes and encourage them to eagerly respond to the Great Commission at our Saints in the City Banquet. Highlighting the youth who joyfully share our faith is an inspiration to the invited parents, pastors, and ministry leaders. All are renewed in their hope that their hard work has significant meaning.

This event is not possible without the help of generous donors.  Please prayerfully consider offering your support for this inspirational event as a Saints in the City 2017 Sponsor.  For more information, please download the sponsorship flyer below or email Cecilia at ckohlrust[at]

Download 2016 Sponsorship Details


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