Archdiocese Local

CYO welcomes new director of operations

Dan J. Mason is the new director of operations for the Catholic Youth Organization of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN J. MASON

by Joe Bollig

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — While he was growing up, Dan J. Mason “played every sport I could get my hands on,” he said. That love of sports never left him.

Now, as the new director of operations for the Catholic Youth Organization of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, sports has become both his profession and his ministry.

“D.J. has a sports background in football, baseball and cross-country,” said John McGoldrick, executive director of CYO for the archdiocese. “He also has experience in intramural sports management.”

Mason began his new job on Dec. 1. Previously, he was an area manager for Amazon operations in Lenexa.

The answer to the question “Where are you from?” is a little more complicated for Mason than it is for many people.

Both of his parents served in the U.S. Navy and his family moved around quite a bit. Mason was born in Yokosuka, Japan, but eventually picked San Bernardino, California — part of the sprawling Los Angeles megalopolis — to call home.

Although nominally from a Protestant background, he went to the boarding school of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California, run by the Norbertine Fathers. While there, he played football, basketball and baseball.

At the end of his freshman year, he converted to Catholicism.

Mason attended Ave Maria University in southwest Florida, initially playing baseball but switching to cross-country. He also played in numerous intramural sports.

“While running in [the climate of] southwest Florida isn’t the most pleasant experience, I loved every minute of my three years in the sport,” he said.

But that’s not all. As a resident assistant, he helped cultivate the thriving Catholic culture of the university.

It was at Ave Maria that Mason met Mary Goetz, and they married in 2022. That was also the same year he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology with a minor in theology.

His wife grew up in DeSoto, where they live now and are raising their son Martin. They are members of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Shawnee. Mary is a 2018 graduate of St. James Academy in Lenexa.

The couple moved to DeSoto so Mary could attend the University of Kansas School of Law.

Mason got involved in archdiocesan CYO through the former director of operations: his mother-in-law, Maureen Goetz. She asked him to help out as a volunteer and he became increasingly involved. The position opened when she moved to a part-time role with CYO.

“D.J. began as a CYO associate helping the CYO staff over the past six months and was asked to join full time due to his competence and thoroughness in completing tasks due to his prior sports, intramural and managerial experience,” said McGoldrick.

“I’m going to be making schedules for the different sports we have for CYO, as well as helping with any administrative issues — like with making accounts, registration and scholarships,” Mason said. “I’ll be helping out at different events, such as helping set up events or getting equipment, and anything else needed for operations to make things go smoothly.”

Mason is excited to be involved in an organization that combines his love of sports with his love of the Catholic faith.

“I love the Catholic faith,” he said. “I think from what I saw — even before I knew what CYO was — the church was doing things to help younger kids, coinciding with the parish ministries. It’s something I wanted to be a part of. It’s nice to have a job through which you are practicing your faith.

“I’m super excited to have this job. I’m doing Christ’s work, I’m stressing our Catholic faith, upholding our Catholic values for our students, players and staff members.”

CYO at a glance

• CYO is available in Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties.

• The 10-parish Parochial League of Kansas City, Missouri, participates with CYO in boys flag football, girls flag football, tackle football and basketball (if the PLKC does not have enough teams in a league).

• More than 7,000 kids are involved in CYO.

• CYO is available in 23 parishes.

• Kids in grades three through eight are involved with CYO.

• CYO has boys flag football, girls flag football, tackle football, volleyball, cross-country, basketball (including high school basketball for ninth through 12th grades), track and field, and summer tennis.

• For more information about archdiocesan CYO, go online to:

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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