We wish to extend our congratulations and gratitude to the students, counselors, faculty and staff of the Father Troike Summer Leadership Program at Cathedral Preparatory Seminary on the completion of its 43 years of service to our community. That’s right! This valuable program has been in existence for a long time — since 1968, and it was named after the beloved Father Edward Troike, who taught mathematics at Cathedral Prep at its then newly opened “Queens division,” which is now the sole situs of the Prep.
Father Troike is remembered as a young, energetic and fun-loving man whose dedication to the priesthood and the cultivation of vocations extended well beyond the classroom. As a cancer sufferer for most of his teaching years, he courageously exemplified the priestly model of putting others first, fighting the disease at every step along the way with an energy and enthusiasm that inspired everyone around him to live life joyfully and to the fullest.
At a time when many young people are without employment or other constructive age-appropriate activities in which to be involved throughout the summer months, the Troike Program has been a beacon of light for so many young men in our diocese. We are grateful to our Catholic high schools for offering programs such as this one which over the years have really made a difference in the lives of so many young people, their families and the entire community.
What distinguishes the Troike Program can be summed up in its uniquely spiritual focus on serving others in the Lord. Not only does it enhance the development of the participants — through education, sports and preparation for high school entrance — but it develops the personal relationship of each and every young man with our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Each day, the young men are challenged and assisted in the process of discerning the Lord’s presence in their lives and to what kind of service He may be calling them. While it might be considered that this is a program for vocational development with a view toward the priesthood, it is much broader. It is the responsibility of every adult generation of Christians to serve its young people by teaching them how to pray and seek the Lord’s will, whatever that may be, whether as priest or a religious or as a married or single person. At the same time, this ministry of service is particularly enriched by the presence of other young people, especially the students of Cathedral Prep, who are so much a part of this mission.
If you know anyone who has attended this program or been involved with it in any way this summer or in past years, ask them about their experience and invite them to share it with others. This is good and worthy work that deserves our fullest support and remains a shining example of hope for our future which, after all, is our youth.