Archbishop Celebrates Gift Of Scouting
Published: May 5, 2005
Archbishop Gregory stands between 17-year-old Sea Scout Matt Rowland, left, and assistant Scoutmaster David Joyce, who accepted the 3 by 5 foot Gold Medallion Award flag for their “ship” (unit). The award is given in recognition of an “outstanding Catholic Cub Scout Pack, Boy Scout Troop or Venturing Crew that excels at providing youth with quality programs including religious activities, religious emblems participation, outdoor activities, and special events that encompass the religious, vocational, and educational aspects of Scouting under Catholic auspices.”
ATLANTA—A bell choir processed up the aisle and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church became awash in khaki and olive green as Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory celebrated his first Archdiocesan Scout Mass in Atlanta.
Held on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19, the Mass brought together Scouts from throughout the archdiocese. Archbishop Gregory celebrated the Mass along with Father Michael Kingery, pastor of St. Clement Church in Calhoun and chaplain for the Catholic Committee on Scouting in the archdiocese, and Father Jim Schillinger, pastor of IHM.
In his homily, Archbishop Gregory referred to the Gospel, in which Jesus went missing from his parents, only to be found later in the temple, listening to the teachers and asking them questions. This particular story in Scripture speaks of the significance of young people, the archbishop said. Jesus was “just like any other 12-year-old” including those present at the Mass, he said.
“Jesus’ childhood receives scant attention in the Gospels because it is the actions of his maturity that are the most important for people of Faith,” Archbishop Gregory said. “It was in these years of his maturity that he was really about his Father’s business. Yet it is more than merely being charming for us to catch a glimpse at the adolescent Christ and his parents – especially when we are celebrating with so many of our own youngsters and with the Scouting community here in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. It is the adolescent Christ that assures us that our own youth have an importance for the Church.”
The Scriptures have even less to say about Joseph, the archbishop said. But Church history has shown Joseph to be a “model of kindness, fidelity, patience, trust, strength.” Joseph’s example is one Scoutmasters and leaders can take to heart, Archbishop Gregory said.
“As Scout leaders, you all must provide for our young people the examples of gentleness and strength that will prepare them for the futures that God holds in store for them,” he said.
Archbishop Gregory directed the conclusion of his homily to the young Scouts in attendance.
“To those here present today who are themselves the bright hope and promise of tomorrow—our own 12-year-olds and those who are younger as well as those who are older, it is good to catch a glimpse of Jesus when he was your age. He felt like you, acted like you, and on occasion he got into hot water—just like you,” he said. “We all pray that you young people will come to understand how much we love you. We even pray that you will become more obedient, because you know how much you are loved—I think that might be the best lesson any of us can learn on this Feast of Saint Joseph—that great dad and model for us all.”
Following Communion, Archbishop Gregory helped to hand out the annual Scouting Awards, along with Ed Rousselot, chairman of the Catholic Committee on Scouting in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The awards given are as follows:
The Spirit Alive Medal—This medal is given to the Girl Scout who strives to discover how the Holy Spirit moves in her life by calling her to greater participation in the church’s ministry. This year’s recipient is Laura Smith, Our Lady of LaSalette Church, Canton.
Ad Altare Dei Emblem—The purpose of this program is to equip the Scouts to take their place in the world as a maturing Catholic and American by deepening their appreciation of the sacraments. This year’s recipients are Justin Adams, Nicholas Fouriezos, Luke Hohnamm and Hank Marcacci of Good Shepherd Church, Cumming; Joshua Grumbling of Holy Trinity Church, Peachtree City; Sean DeRoth, Aaron Germann, Robert Grgetic, James Lambert, Danny Nagy and Costel Outlaw of Prince of Peace Church, Buford; Michael Moats and Matthew Shoemaker of Sacred Heart Church in Milledgeville; Colin Green of St. Ann Church, Marietta; Brad Bocklage of St. Benedict Church, Duluth; Patrick Warren of St. Catherine of Siena Church, Kennesaw; Patrick Studley of St. George Church, Newnan; Nicholas Eberhart, Matthew Izzo and Charles Rubell III of St. John Neumann Church in Lilburn; Phillip Arnold, William Austin II, Anthony Bancroft, Robbie Jordan, Sean McPartlan, Kevin Peterson and Joseph Ramsey of St. Joseph Church, Marietta; Keith Estabrooks, Wayne McGrath Jr., Ryan Swisher and Nathaniel Watts of St. Mary Magdalene Church, Sharpsburg; Jordan Panzer, Christopher Rowland, Jonathan Xuereb and Shawn Xuereb of St. Monica Church in Duluth; Charles Allred of St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Lilburn; and Bryan Seymour and Patrick Taylor of Transfiguration Church, Marietta.
Special Recognition—This year a special recognition award was given to someone who, while not eligible for a Girl Scout award, exemplifies the spirit of excellence in Catholic Scouting. This year’s recipient is Martha Brand of Transfiguration Church, Marietta.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal—This medal was created to recognize significant contributions of people serving the spiritual needs of Campfire and Girl Scouts and is intended to recognize notable contributions in this area of youth ministry. This year’s recipients are Cheryl O’Brien of St. Peter Chanel Church, Roswell, and Debbie Varn of Transfiguration Church, Marietta.
Bronze Pelican Emblem—The purpose of this emblem is to recognize adults for their significant contribution in promoting Scouting in the Catholic Church on the parish level. This year’s recipients are Gayle Molinet and Henry Molinet of Holy Family Church, Marietta; James Fisher and Father Chito Palang of St. Monica Church, Duluth; Charles Drummond and Paul Valvo of Transfiguration Church, Marietta.
St. George Emblem—This is a national recognition approved by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting to recognize the recipient’s outstanding contribution to the spiritual development of Catholic youth in the Boy Scout program. This year’s recipients are Deacon Bill Lakin of St. Joseph’s Church, Athens; Mary Ellen Yeomans of Transfiguration Church, Marietta; and Father Michael Kingery of St. Clement Church, Calhoun.
Bishop’s Trophy—This trophy is presented to the outstanding Boy and Girl Scout troops in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. This year’s recipients are Girl Scout Troop 2163 of Transfiguration Church, Marietta, and Venture Crew Ship 12 of St. Oliver Plunkett Church, Snellville.
Chaplain’s Cup—This award is given at the discretion of the Catholic Committee chaplain to any Boy Scout unit or Girl Scout unit he deems worthy of the Cup. This year’s recipient is Troop 534 of Prince of Peace Church in Buford.
Gold Medallion—This program is established to identify and recognize the outstanding Catholic Cub Scout Pack, Boy Scout Troop, and Venturing Crew in each of the fourteen episcopal regions of the United States. This year’s recipients are Troop 1776 of St. Ann Church, Marietta, and Venture Crew Ship 12 of St. Oliver Plunkett Church, Snellville.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta was also awarded the Quality Diocese Award by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.