Matthews ’23 is a 2021 “Face Forward” Service Award Winner

Congratulations to St. Charles sophomore Thomas Matthews (St. Brigid of Kildare School, St. Brigid of Kildare School) who was selected by the Office of Vocations of the Diocese of Columbus and the Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth program as one of two winners of the .

In its 9th year, the Service Awards recognize two students in the Columbus Diocese in grades 8-12 for their outstanding service activities within their community and parish. Each winner receives a $500 award.  The awards are one form of outreach that Face Forward undertakes to connect with Diocesan students – to introduce them to Face Forward and the Office of Vocations, and ideally encourage them to engage with the online communities that we have built on the social networks.

Each year, the Office of Vocations asks applicants to answer a question. A group of Seminarians select the winners based on their review of the applicants and their responses. This year, applicants were asked to share how the pandemic strengthened their faith. The question was “How has the pandemic shaped or grown your faith?” Here is what Face Forward shared about Thomas’ answer:

“Thomas says that what was supposed to be the temporary pause of in-person schooling in Spring 2020 seemed like a welcome reprieve to the challenges of high school life. However, the isolation of the pandemic caused him to question, “where my life was going, and what little purpose I felt I had was not worth living.”

It was when he stepped away from the screens and picked up his Dad’s bike that he began “to step back from it all and look at everything with a new perspective.” While Thomas notes that he would definitely go back in time to stop the pandemic if he could to prevent the suffering of others, “2020 was the start for me, and I use my newfound maturity to fulfill my purpose of joining God in Heaven, and to also help those around me, who all share the same journey.”

Amelia Steele, a 9th grader at Worthington Kilbourne High School and a parishioner of St. Peter Roman Catholic Church was the other recipient of the award.


About Face Forward

Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth offers a digital community of more than 15,000 young Catholics to explore their faith. Created by the Diocese of Columbus’ Office of Vocations, Face Forward gives individuals the opportunity to make connections about their Catholic faith and their vocation, and to engage with others exploring the same path. The Face Forward community has a website that is updated weekly with new blogs on current events and news, up-to-date stories on our seminarians, and reflections on scripture. The program also has vibrant online communities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as well as an email program that sends out regular communication to our members. Learn more about Face Forward: Connecting Catholic Youth at


St. Charles Preparatory School
2010 E Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43209
Phone: (614) 252-6714


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