Boys and girls and young men and women of Catholic Scouting in the archdiocese came together at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where they were honored at the annual Scouting Mass.
The April 7 Mass recognized the achievements of members of Scouting troops throughout the archdiocese. The ceremony began with an impressive color guard of scouts processing up the cathedral’s central aisle. Scouts also served as altar servers and gift bearers.
Cardinal Dolan, the principal celebrant, opened the Mass by saying it was a joy to welcome the Scouts, as he had welcomed many other honored guests to the cathedral. Msgr. Anthony D. Marchitelli, the archdiocesan Scouting Chaplain, was a concelebrant.
The cardinal noted that the values of scouting are closely aligned with the values of faith. He made the point that it is important to have faith even when it is not easy.
He told the congregation about a camping experience he had when he was a member of a Boy Scout Troop in his native St. Louis. He talked about how much fun he had with his fellow scouts while appreciating nature’s beauty.
“Positive experiences like that makes it easy to have faith in God,” he said.
The cardinal explained that the true test of faith comes when God seems absent in your life, giving examples such as the death of a friend or not getting into the college of your choice.
“Faith comes through when God seems gone,” he said.
Awards given out included the Ad Altare Dei Emblem, the Ad Altare Dei, the Marian Award, the Pope Pius XII Emblem, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, the St. Anne Award, the Spirit Alive Award, the Bronze Pelican Award, the St. George Award and the Silver Antelope Award.
Anna Maria Chavez, the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, received the Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal, an award that recognizes her outstanding contributions to the growth and development of young women in the Girl Scouts.
“As a Roman Catholic and a Girl Scout, I am keenly aware of the impact faith can have in a scout's life, and the significant role the Church has played in advancing the cause of the Girl Scout movement around the world,” said Ms. Chavez in a statement released by Girl Scouts USA.
She joined Cardinal Dolan in presenting the various emblems to girls who have completed the curriculums with the help and support of their scouting troops.
Also at the Mass, it was announced that Jerry Scanlan, chairman of the Catholic Committee on Scouting, is one of this year’s recipients of the Silver Antelope Award of the Boy Scouts of America. Along with his responsibilities in the archdiocese, Scanlan is active with the national and international boards of the Catholic Committee on Scouting.
Hannah Sheboy, 15, a member of Troop 328 at St. Mary’s parish in Washingtonville, has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. She received the Spirit Alive Award, given to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit in the recipients’ lives. She said one of her favorite parts of being a scout is “being able to reach out to the community on your own and providing service to the community.”
Thomas Fitzpatrick, 14, who belongs to Troop 78 of St. Augustine’s parish in New City, has been a Boy Scout for 5 years. He received the Ad Altare Dei Emblem award, which recognizes a scout’s work in developing a fully Christian way of life. His favorite parts of Scouting are “going on camping trips and building strong leadership skills.”
Erica Sweeney is the leader of Troop 14 of the St. James the Apostle parish in Carmel. She received the Bronze Pelican Award honoring her contributions to Catholic Scouting. When asked about the kind of influence scouting has on its members, she said, “It gives them good self-esteem. They can also make new friends and build confidence.”
The complete list of Scouting emblem and award recipients can be found in the PDFs below.