Dear Catholic Scouters,
Siempre adelante! Ever forward! This was the motto attributed to Father Junipero Serra and by which he lived his life. Pope Francis referenced the motto during the canonization Mass held recently in Washington, D.C. It has been the de facto NCCS motto this past year and will be the theme for our upcoming Biennial Confer-ence in April.
It’s no secret that, as a result of BSA’s changes in its youth and adult membership policies, quite a few Catholic organizations have not renewed their charters. However, during the same period of time, we achieved a goal of charter-ing more than 300 new units at Catholic organizations. This was the goal for our 3-year Membership Initiative. As we near the end of the second year, more than 400 units have been chartered. Ever forward!
The NCCS continues to offer its religious emblem and religious activity patch programs. Several new religious activities are being developed. The NCCS continues to offer its training programs, particularly its advanced program, Scouting in the Catholic Church, each summer at the Philmont Training Center. The NCCS continues to provide recognition to diocesan Scouting committees, Catholic chartered units and adults who achieve certain standards of quality and service. Ever forward!
I hope that you will join us in Atlanta next April for our Biennial Conference. There will be workshops, meetings, special presentations, and opportunities to meet others and learn new things that you can take back to your local commu-nity. Ever forward!
Pope Francis exhorts us to “Go forth! Proclaim! The joy of the Gospel is something to be experienced, something to be known and lived only through giving it away, through giving ourselves away.” In the ministry of Catholic Scouting, we give ourselves away by practicing the rituals of our faith and sharing with the young men and women in our charge stories of our faith. My thanks to all who are engaged in this way! May our celebration of Christ’s birth give us hope to continue. Ever forward!
Edward P. Martin – NCCS National Chair