Dear Catholic Scouters,
On Saturday January 30th my local diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting had its annual Religious Emblem Award Mass at my parish of Saint Joachim in Costa Mesa, California. Many young people attended so as to receive their Religious Emblems. The Diocese of Orange Diocesan Chaplain, Deacon Nicholas Sherg was in his element enthusiastically placing each emblem when the scout or venture presented him or herself.
Catholic Religious Emblems (Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei, Ad Altare Dei, and Pope Pius XII) are the backbone of Catholic Scouting. The blending of these two programs: the Catholic Church with the Boy Scouts of America contributes to the moral, spiritual and psychological formation of our Catholic youth as they endeavor to be faithful citizens of the greatest nation on God’s green earth.
I have been a Religious Emblem Counselor for Ad Altare Dei and a Facilitator for the Pope Pius XII Programs since 1995 and am so proud of the young people who have earned these religious emblems and their commitment to Scouting and to the Catholic Church. In an age when many young people are walking away from the Church of their youth and many from religion all together these young Scouts and Ventures are an example of what is great in the Boy Scouts of America and what is exciting within the Catholic Church.
I wish to commend and affirm the dedication and commitment of all Religious Emblem Counselors in the Boy Scouts of America no matter the faith tradition for your commitment to Scouting, your faith community and to the young people you minister to in your local communities.
Father Michael Hanifin
NCCS National Chaplain