The National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry

In December 2018, the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry (NCCYM) took place in Tampa, FL. The NCCYM gathers and forms adults to inspire, strengthen, and nourish those who accompany young people as they encounter and follow Jesus Christ. The Pacione Foundation was excited to give a grant to the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry to fund multicultural scholarships for NCCYM.

Here is what they learned at the NCCYM:

Arnel Recio

“I was affirmed with the ideas of organizing the ministry more clearly and concisely with expectations of leaders. We have revised our vision and mission statement to better match that of the parish.”

– Arnel Recio



Jaime Gil

“As a ‘millennial’ Catholic minister, it was very enlightening to learn at a break out session by Mr. Mercadante about the similarities and differences between my generation and Generation Z. It is very important to LISTEN and to LEARN about their experience. I came away reflecting and wanting to learn specifically about how they experience the sacred and how we can help in the process.”

– Jaime Gil

Jazmin Santiago

“I plan to share with my youth and other young adults about what unlocked my heart in this conference. Words One part that totally unlocked my heart was Lana Chalfoun with her song ‘Bring Them Home.’ Young people like her give me hope.”

– Jazmin Santiago




Juan y Mirna

” I have learned that we need to advocate for safe and sacred spaces for our youth. I take away affirmation on how we do ministry. I have learned how important it is for us as volunteers to get parents involved in their teens’ faith lives.”

– Juan Rodriquez

Karen Rojas

“I attended the conference with the ministry’s growth as my focus, but it turned out that the conference strengthened my personal relationship with Jesus. Returning to the ministry re-energized help establish goals and communicate to young Latinos the conferences that occur so everyone can get involved. A powerful quote that could help the ministry stay focus in times of conflict, ‘Don’t leave Jesus because of Judas.'”

– Karen Rojas

Marie Ramirez-Pagan

“Since the Conference started, it all came down to one phrase: ‘we have to go back to our roots.’  Meaning, to create a culture of encounter and not event driven. We are called and sent to do this, if not, we will bury our Pastoral Juvenile/Youth Ministry. I learned to not be afraid and be quick to address problems.  To be thought provoking and providing safe spaces for any one regardless of who they are.”

– Marie Ramirez-Pagan

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“Some key points I took from NCCYM is to reduce stress in youth ministry and bring joy. Seeking to host a just 5 Days middle school summer camp on campus through CMD as both a summer camp and fundraiser for youth to attend future NCYC and as a draw for teens to become involved.”

– Mary Klemm


Robert Barbry

“What I plan to present to our board of directors is the great need (which became more evident) to continue to partner with organizations such as the NFCYM to develop strategies, resources, and other means to strengthen the outreach to Indigenous Catholic youth across North America.”

– Robert Barby



 I learned that as I continue to work with the youth and young adults (Hispanic/Latinos and any other ethnicity) we need to continue to involve the parents and families. We need to emphasize the importance of family in the life of the church and the youth and young adults lives.”

– Mirna Ochoa

2018 Pinkard Scholars Program

In 2018 the Mark D. Pacione Foundation was able to provide partial grants to 2 young people who attended the Pinkard Youth Theological Program at St. Mary’s Seminary and University. As a recipient of the scholarship, these students were asked to share their insight at the completion of the course.

Thank you so much for the scholarship you offered me.  With it, I was able to attend one of the best classes I have ever taken.  I was able to learn how to think deeper into my faith, consider questions I previously would not have, and have a deeper relationship with Christ.  Again, thank you for the privilege of the scholarship, it as very much appreciated.
Patrick McDonald

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11).

The Pacione Foundation has provided me so many wonderful opportunities.  From deepening my passion for and enriching my capabilities of dialogue with the Pinkard Scholars Program, to welcoming me into your family to honor Mr. Mark Pacione’s legacy at your bull roast.  Thank you.  From these experiences have come fruits which I will have with me forever.  The Pacione Foundation, I feel, is truly carrying out God’s word by providing me, and the people like me with so many soul-fulfilling opportunities.  This, along with learning about Mr. Pacione, has truly inspired me and ignited an insatiable desire to continue serving others in the name of Christ.  God bless you.

Kami Ciccanti

Mark D. Pacione Foundation “Shine On” Grant Process

“I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12
The mission of the Mark D. Pacione Foundation is embodied in these words of Jesus – to be a light in the world and encourage others, particularly young people and those who minister with them to shine brightly.  To further this mission, the Mark D. Pacione Foundation is announcing the launch of its grant application process to be known as the “Shine On” process. 
Grant applications will be accepted for new and innovative programs and ministry focused on enriching the faith lives and leadership development of the young church and those who minister with them.  Grants of $1000-$5000 will be awarded twice a year; June 1 and December 1.  
For more information about the grant process and how to apply, please visit: