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March 18, 2010


The Archdiocesan Office for Youth and Young Adults will celebrate the 17th Annual Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Hall of Fame Awards Dinner to honor the lifetime achievements of adults who espouse the virtues and values of the Catholic Church and CYO. Proceeds from the Awards Dinner will help fund programs coordinated by the Office for Youth and Young Adults.

The Class of 2010 Hall of Fame Inductees includes Reverend Monsignor Francis X. Schmidt, former Director of Youth Activities; Harry Perretta, Villanova University women's basketball coach; Deacon Alvin A Clay III, CEO of Davidson Trust Company; and Dolores Purcell, former women's basketball coach at West Catholic High School. In addition, Chris DiJulia will receive the prestigious Tom Gola Award, which is presented to someone who embodies faith, courage, spirit and support of others through sports. DiJulia, 40, has not allowed the challenges of cerebral palsy to limit his support and loyalty to a family of athletes, as well as CYO and collegiate athletics.

Monday, March 22, 2010
5:30 p.m. Silent Auction
7:00 p.m. Dinner
8:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony
Drexelbrook (Drexelbrook Drive and Valley Road)
Drexel Hill, Delaware County

The CYO is one department of the Office for Youth and Young Adults, an Archdiocesan Office which supports school, parish and Church leaders in their mission to prepare youth and young adults to hear and respond to the call of Jesus Christ. Through spiritual, service, leadership development and athletics programs, the Office for Youth and Young Adults works to draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the Catholic faith community as well as to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each person.

This year's Hall of Fame inductees are:

Deacon Alvin A. Clay III is Chief Executive Officer of Davidson Trust Company located in Devon, Pennsylvania. Davidson is a Wealth Advisor, Investment Manager, and Trustee, managing $1 billion of assets for private clients and institutions.

In 2002, he was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and serves at Immaculate Conception Church in Jenkintown, and at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, on special occasions.

Deacon Clay is a graduate of St. Francis of Assisi School and Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, PA and is a member of the Cardinal O'Hara Hall of Fame. While in school, he was an active participant in CYO football, basketball, and one-act plays. Deacon Clay is a member of the Board of Directors of Leone Industries, a New Jersey manufacturer of glass containers, a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), and a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of Legatus. He is also a member of The Union League of Philadelphia and The Sunday Breakfast Club.

He earned a BS in Accounting and a Master of Taxation degree from Villanova University. He holds the professional designations of Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner. He has served on the Villanova School of Business' adjunct faculty and is the author of a professional reference manual on partnership taxation. Deacon Clay is currently writing a series of columns for The Philadelphia Inquirer on the subject of Business Ethics. He is a frequent speaker on business ethics, the taxation of investments, and other matters affecting wealth management for individuals and trusts.

His charitable endeavors include Board Member and Treasurer of the National Catholic Bioethics Center; National Advisory Board of the Center for Study of Church Management at Villanova University, the Board of BLOCS (Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools), Executive Committee of the Stewards of St. John Neumann, Advisory Board of Bishop McDevitt High School; Board of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts; Board of Trustees of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and Chairman of the Seminary's Development Committee.

At Immaculate Conception Parish, he serves on the Parish Councils, Liturgy Committee, and is Chairman of the Finance Committee and Honorary Chairman of the Capital Campaign. He is a weekly homilist at 'Immaculate' and performs many other pastoral duties in his role as deacon. He is a frequent speaker in the Archdiocese at parish, retreat, and other Church functions and addresses topics pertaining to the diaconate, stewardship, and other aspects of living the Catholic faith.

Formerly, Deacon Clay served on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Board of Education (where he chaired the Finance Committee and Special Education Committee and was a member of the Strategic Planning Committee); the Board of LaSalle College High School; Trustee and Past President of Pennsylvanians for Human Life; and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Augustinian Friars, Province of St. Thomas of Villanova.

Deacon Clay is one of ten children of Alvin and Nancy Clay of Springfield, PA. He and his wife Kathleen, who have seven children, reside in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.

Harry Perretta: Now in his 32nd year as head coach of the Villanova women's basketball program, Harry Perretta has established himself as one of the most respected and knowledgeable coaches in the country. A true teacher both on and off the court, Perretta strives to have a positive influence on his student-athletes not only as basketball players, but also as people.

Perretta began his career on the Main Line in 1978 at the age of 22, the youngest coach ever to head a women's program at Villanova. Since then, Perretta and the Wildcats have had many highlights, including reaching the Final Four of the AIAW in 1982, and after joining the Big East in 1982, leading the Wildcats to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, national rankings in the Associated Press poll, Big East regular season and tournament championships in both 1985-86 and 1986-87, the 2003 Big East Tournament title, eight outright and four shared Big 5 titles, and fourteen 20-win or better seasons.

In his 32-year Villanova career, Perretta has tallied a career record of 586-359. His 586 wins place him 21st on the winningest active collegiate coaching list, and rank him as the all-time winningest coach in the history of Villanova basketball for both men and women. In his first season of coaching, Perretta was a finalist for the AIAW small college coach of the year. Since then, he has been named the Big East Conference Coach or Co-Coach of the Year three times: in the 2008-09, 1995-96, and 1986-87 seasons. He has been named the Philadelphia Big Five Coach or Co-Coach of the Year in 1995-96, 2000-01, 2002-03 and 2003-04.

The dean of the Big East and Big 5 coaches, Perretta has brought the Wildcats national respect and success during his tenure at Villanova. Year-in and year-out, his teams are feared for their aggressive play, disciplined style, defensive prowess and pre-game preparations of an opponent.
A teacher of basketball, Perretta also realizes the importance of the overall college experience. He and his staff closely follow each player's academic progress, and 99 percent of the student-athletes who have stayed all four years have received their degrees. Using the basketball experience to teach his players lessons on life, Perretta helps prepare his players to be successful in whatever career avenue they choose.

Perretta, of Drexel Hill, PA, attended Lycoming College after earning All-Catholic League honors at Monsignor Bonner High School in Upper Darby, PA. His playing career was cut short, however, by an ankle injury during his freshman year at Lycoming. Perretta spent the remainder of his college years assisting Lycoming's varsity and junior varsity programs as a coach, and he also aided the women's program. He received his bachelor's degree in social studies and a secondary teaching certificate in 1978. In 1995, he earned his Master's Degree in Education from Villanova.
Perretta is married to the former Helen Koskinen, and they are the parents of an 11-year old son, Stephen William, and a nine-year old son, Michael John.

Dolores A. Purcell is the youngest of five children of John and Elizabeth Antoni. Her father died before she was born in 1931. Family meant everything to her mother. The three boys went to Girard College. Dolores and her sister lived at St. Vincent's Orphanage in Tacony from 1934 until 1942. She graduated from Our Mother of Sorrows grade school and from West Philadelphia Catholic High School in 1948. During her high school years, Dolores played basketball and co-captained the 1948 championship team at West. She was an All-Catholic player in her junior year and was MVP in her senior year.
Dolores married John F.X. Purcell in 1951 and they had two sons, John and Joe. She has a wonderful daughter-in-law Karin and two beautiful granddaughters, Kadie and Abigail.

In 1964, Dolores began her coaching career as an assistant basketball coach at St. Dorothy grade school. In 1965, Father Nugent hired her as a Physical Education teacher and basketball coach at West Philadelphia Catholic High School. This appointment was really a dream come true for her; she was back at her alma mater. Under her leadership, West Catholic won the Catholic League Basketball Championships in 1970, the first one since 1949. West Catholic won the title again in 1977. Catholic League division playoffs started in 1974; West made the playoffs eight times and won several tournaments during her tenure. Dolores also coached the West Catholic volleyball team from 1970 until 1973. She served as athletic director from 1970-1989. The 1985-86 season was her last coaching basketball. She continued teaching physical education until retirement in 1993. In addition to coaching and teaching, Mrs. Purcell refereed many CYO and high school basketball and volleyball games. She was certified as a national official for basketball from 1965-1995 and for volleyball from 1970-1995.

After 28 years of coaching and teaching, Dolores is a member of the West Catholic High School Hall of Fame and the West Catholic Sports Hall of Fame. Today her students and players remember her as being strict, making them work, never taking any nonsense, but always being fair. While learning much about sports, they learned even more about life from Mrs. Purcell.

In 1995, Dolores married her long time friend, Frank P. Murphy who passed away in 2002. She resides in Drexel Hill, PA with her son John and continues to live by her motto: "take one day at a time."

Monsignor Francis X. Schmidt is the first of three sons born to Henry and Estelle Schmidt, both devoted Catholics totally committed to their Church and to their family. The Schmidts grew up in Olney, in North Philadelphia, and the three boys graduated from St. Helena's School. Monsignor attended St. Joseph's Prep ('49), and after studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, he was ordained a priest in May 1957.

In 1966, Cardinal Krol appointed Father Schmidt as Director of Youth Activities, of which CYO was a significant part, and in 1967, Father Robert Maginnis, now auxiliary bishop, was appointed as his assistant. From early on, the two priests engaged the young people in the Archdiocese in CYO activities, which, through the new parish chartering program and the supervision of college students as regional aides, grew by leaps and bounds. They established an array of leadership, service and experiential education programs, especially for inner city teenagers including: Search and Leadership Retreats at Camp Neumann, a national venereal disease educational and referral service (Operation Venus) funded by the National Center for Disease Control; tutoring programs; swim instruction; foster brother and sister mentoring; Saturday cultural programs; Operation Golden Touch; and Operation Discovery. The Department also saw launched Operation Santa Claus, Agape Campfire Girls and the Manna Food Drive, all of which continue to flourish decades later.

Father Schmidt began his ministry teaching Mathematics at Cardinal Dougherty High School where he ran an extensive intramural program and coached freshman basketball. Also at Dougherty, Father Schmidt started the first Junior Legion of Mary Praesidium in the United States. In 1965, he set up an inner city basketball league, involving 500 teenagers.
With Father lgnatius Murray, he started Operation Incentive tutoring, which led to the beginning of the Community Service Corps in 1966.

In 1976, the Pope named Father Schmidt a Monsignor, and he served on the Executive Committee of the International Eucharistic Congress. The IEC Youth Council, under his direction, promoted the SIGN (Service in God's Name) program and collected 12 million pledged hours of service from young people throughout the world.

In 1981, Monsignor was named pastor of Blessed Virgin Mary Church, in Darby, and in 1995, he was assigned pastor of St. Augustine's Church in Bridgeport. Monsignor retired from "active ministry" assignment in 2006, the year of his 50th Anniversary as a priest, and yet he continued to be very "active" ever since. Monsignor now spends most of his time in promotion of Father Chuck's Challenge, a missionary project dedicated to the memory and ministry of Father Charles Pfeffer, an original member of CSC and later, an Archdiocesan Director of the Department of Youth. As of January 2010, donors to the project have enabled the construction of 425 homes for nearly 3000 poor, mostly children in five Nicaragua villages. Among other ventures, the program has also established Father Pfeffer's Fishing Village in Haiti. He now resides in Norristown, PA and provides substitute ministry in various parishes throughout the archdiocese.

Chris DiJulia: Tom Gola Award

Considered by many to be Philadelphia's No. 1 sports fan and one of the most knowledgeable, Chris DiJulia, of Havertown, PA, is a faithful and loyal supporter of all athletes. His passion for cheering others on to victory began early in life. Since he was old enough to attend with his parents, he has enthusiastically rooted for his brothers and sisters whose accomplishments include: Top 100 in America Golf Pro, Division I basketball player and Division I track and cross country runner. He is an honorary assistant basketball coach for St. Joseph's University men's and women's programs, Villanova University women's basketball and Vermont University women's basketball. In addition, he has served as an assistant high school CYO basketball coach at St. Denis Parish and as an assistant ice hockey coach at Cardinal O'Hara High School. DiJulia is an inspiration to all: coaches, players and fans alike. Over his 40 years, he has never allowed his cerebral palsy and wheelchair confinement to limit him. As close friends have said, Chris does not know the words, ``I can't.'' Numerous lives have been enriched through Chris DiJulia's love of life and his love of sports.
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Kevin Mulligan
Associate Director

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