The Morning Star Youth Group was formed as a follow-up program for the youngsters who attended the Saint Catherine of Sienna pilgrimage to the World Youth Day event in Madrid, Spain in August of 2011.  The group has since grown from the original nineteen pilgrims to nearly fifty members, who meet at the Father Thomas Groenewold Memorial Parish Hall at Saint Catherine of Sienna Parish in Franklin Square, NY on Tuesday evenings.  The group decided on the name "Morning Star", a title attributed to Our Holy Mother in the "Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary". The Morning Star is the one which precedes the rising of the Sun, just as Mary preceded the coming of the Son of God. The first stop of our pilgrimage was at Fatima, Portugal to visit the Shrine of "Our Lady of Fatima". The youth who attended were so moved by reverence of this holy site, that they felt it necessary to somehow honor Our Holy Mother in the choosing of the name of our follow-up Youth Group.



For Her apparitions at Fatima, Our Holy Mother chose the simplest of devotees; children.  That is why Fatima was such a fitting place to embark on our World Youth Day journey.  All are welcome to join us on this journey of rediscovering our Catholic faith and heritage.  To have fun serving our community and helping each other.

The Father Thomas Groenewold Memorial Parish Hall is in commemoration of our beloved Pastor Rev. Msgr. Thomas W. Groenewold.  He was born in Kew Garden, New York on February 22, 1943 and departed on March 8, 2008. He resided in Franklin Square, NY.

Fr. Tom Groenewold

02/22/43 - 03/08/08


How The Name Morning Star Was Chosen

The name "Morning Star" was chosen to give honor to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and to ask for her intercession for all our young people and their families.

According to Catholic tradition, the title of Morning Star is given to the Blessed Mother of our Lord. Just as the morning star announces the coming of the day, appearing in the sky and reflection the light of the sun, "Mary appeared on the horizon of salvation history before Christ," and shows us the way to Him. She reflects the light of the Creator and Redeemer and exalts His glory.

From her humble assent welcoming Jesus into her life to her faithful witness at the foot of the cross, she is a model for all believers. But, in a comfort for young people in particular.

For us, Mary is also a sign of great hope. Vatican II stated, "The Mother of Jesus in the glory which she possesses body and soul in heaven is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come.

Likewise she shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the Pilgrim People of God" ("Lument Gentium," No. 68). For this reason, she is called "Morning Star," because she is a symbol of the victorious Christian who perseveres in faith and shares in Christ’s messianic authority and victory over the darkness of sin and death. The term is found in the Book of Revelation (2:26-28): "To the one who wins the victory, who keeps to my ways to the end, I will give authority over the nations – the same authority I received from my Father. He shall rule them with the rod of iron and shatter them like crockery; and I will give him the morning star." Also in Song of Songs (6:10) we find, "Who is this that comes forth like the dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun…"; as the brightness of a light penetrating to early morning darkness, Mary heralds the coming of her Son, who is the light of the world (cf. Joh 1:5-10, 3:19.

Our Lady of Guadalupe promised Juan Diego (and all her children) he would be in the folds of her mantle despite his lack of courage for his mission. As Morning Star Youth Group, we recognize that Mary points the way to Christ, the Divine Teacher. We hope to follow her example of courage, humility, and fidelity in our practice to bring the teaching ministry of Christ to our Youth and all our families.