Our Ministry is to bring the message of Jesus Christ to youth and adults involved in Scouting through faith formation programs and retreats. We reach beyond just those in Scouting and offer some of our programs to all youth! (More...).
Below and attached is a letter to leaders, friends, and family from Auxuilary Bishop Edward Rice and CYA Executive Director Fr. Brian Fischer regarding the BSA membership policy change that took place May 23rd:
Dear Scout Leaders and Families,
Recently the Boy Scouts of America announced a change in their membership policy. We want you to be aware of this policy change and how we as the Church are responding.
Archdiocese Statement regarding the membership policy: The Archdiocese of St. Louis takes Catholic faith and formation of young people very seriously. The decision of BSA regarding youth and same-sex attraction does not change our responsibility to uphold the truths of our faith and to offer faith-formation programs based on those truths, which we will continue to do. As Catholics, we believe that a proper understanding of Theology of the Body, as taught by Pope John Paul II, offers truth about the beauty and sanctity of human sexuality. We welcome opportunities to proclaim the Gospel call to conversion. We agree with Pope Emeritus Benedict when he said, “Every human being is loved by God the Father. No one need feel forgotten, for every name is written in the Lord’s loving heart.” We encourage Catholics and all people of faith to treat one another with respect, dignity and love and to pray for our culture.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that individuals who disclose a homosexual inclination or a same sex attraction are to be treated with the same dignity due all human beings created by God. (CCC 2358). This teaching is followed in enrollment policies for Catholic schools, for Catholic sports programs, and for all programs of Catholic youth ministry. Scouting, as Catholic youth ministry, allows us to provide a safe environment in which the Catholic faith can be taught, practiced and nurtured. Scouting, as a program for all youth, gives us as Catholics, the opportunity to meet youth in an activity they enjoy and evangelize them in our faith.
We have personally met with the local Boy Scout Council regarding this issue. We informed them that we would continue to support the youth and leaders in Boy Scouting as an arm of Youth Ministry in our parishes. As you know, the parishes are the chartering sponsors of scouting units, and Catholic units run as an arm of Youth Ministry within the parish.
It is of utmost importance that pastors continue to select adult leaders who uphold the Church’s teachings. We encourage you to attend the Office of Catholic Scouting’s Lay Apostolate Formation Program, which is a retreat designed for Catholic adults in Scouting. In addition, please consider engaging in our faith formation programs and retreats, sponsored by the Office of Catholic Scouting.
With so many mixed messages within our culture today, Catholic Scouting gives us a real opportunity to teach our faith and be a witness to these youth in their formative years. The Office of Catholic Scouting Ministry offers faith formation programs and retreats for Scouts of all ages. Some of our programs focus on topics of sexuality and chastity. The Ad Altare Dei program, for those who have completed the sixth grade and older, touches on the seven sacraments and helps Scouts develop a fully Christian way of life in a faith community. The Pope Pius XII program, for individuals in high school and college, explores the concept of vocations and making life choices.
We plan to promote new programs, as well as incorporate them into our retreats, that will help teach the young people and adults about the proper understanding of Theology of the Body. We have asked the National Catholic Committee on Scouting to look into enhancing their faith formation award programs in accordance with these topics.
If you want to learn more about these faith formation programs and retreats and how they can help you in your parish and your scouting units, please contact the Office of Catholic Scouting at www.catholicscoutingstl.org or 314-792-7608. They will be happy to assist you!
Be assured of our prayers for you as you continue your important work of formation for the youth of the Archdiocese.
Signed by: Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis Executive Director Fr. Brian Fischer of the Catholic Youth Apostolate
All of the priests and parishes of the Archdiocese have received a letter similar to this one along with a copy of this letter to leaders and families.
We ask for your continued prayers and support.
To view what other dioceses have been saying, click here.
Here is the latest on next summer’s fun at Swift Explorer Base with the return of Catholic Adventure Week!!!
July 14-20, 2013, at Swift Base of the S-F Scout Ranch. Register NOW!
Spots are still open! Register NOW!
Catholic Adventure Week, offered at the Swift Base of the S-F Scout Ranch, is sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the BSA, the Office of Catholic Scouting, and the Catholic Committee on Scouting, BSA.
Our goal in providing this week for our Catholic Scouts is to give them an experience of living their faith, growing in their faith, and loving their faith within the Scouting movement and especially out in the wonders of God’s creation.
While at Swift for CAW, Scouts will be camping with their individual troops, under their particular adult leadership. Since a number of our participants are attending this camp in addition to their troop’s summer camp, there will be cases where a Scout from a troop does not have a leader present at camp. A “provisional troop” will be made for one of the camp sites, with leadership being provided by members of the Catholic Committee on Scouting, BSA. In the past this system has worked very well, and Scouts seem to mix easily with other Scouts, without the tension that can be experienced at a normal summer camp.
While at CAW, Scouts will be exposed to the entire High Adventure program offered at Swift. Intertwined with the outstanding program offered by the Swift staff, merit badge program time, and there will be opportunities for prayer, religious instruction, and reflection. Meals are in the dining hall, a t-shirt is provided as a memento, and Mass on Friday. Program manuals will be made available in March. The cost for the week is $260 per Scout or $250 if paid in full by May 1.
We will be offering again the “Voyageur program” for new Scouts. To enroll your Troop and/or individual Scouts for this special summer camp week, turn in a Troop reservation form (if your Troop plans to attend with adult leadership) and turn in individual Scout forms, see link, for those Scouts wishing to be in the provisional Troop. A $25 reservation fee is required to hold individual Scout spots. Contact Tom Kroenung for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
COME AND CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF CATHOLIC SCOUTING with the Scouts and Scout Leaders of the Diocese of Belleville and Springfield!
When: Saturday, August 10, 2013 Who: Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Families, Knights of Columbus and... Families! Time: 9:00am to 5:00pm Cost: $15 Per Person- includes a box lunch, patch and activities throughout the day Location: Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows! Theme: “Keep the Lamp Burning”
At this one day celebration we will have activity stations everyone can attend. The stations will feature crafts, activities, and discussions that will cover many aspects that are both Scouting and Church Related. These include:
A Orienteering Course, Crafts, Vocations Talks, Geocaching, Confession, Rain Gutter Rigatta, Pine Wood Derby, Lashing Demonstrations, a Scavenger Hunt, and many more. There will be 30 stations in all to attend! In addition to the stations, on the hour we will have additional demonstrations and activities. For example we will build a Human Rosary and have a model rocket launch.
Finally, the day will conclude with Mass in the Amphitheatre at 4:00pm with Bishops Edward Braxton (Belleville) and Thomas Paprocki (Springfield) will be joining us to concelebrate mass at 4:00pm in the amphitheater of the Shrine. We have also received confirmation from the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus that they will provide an honor guard for the opening of the Mass. The Mass is going to be spectacular! Now all we need are more and more scouts and their famlies!
We are looking forward to a great day-- we hope you will join us that day and bring your families!
A completely new series, called the Marian Activity and Patch Series, is being released by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting! The first apparition of Mary in this new series is Our Lady of Guadalupe, which you can read about below. This new series was first announced by the NCCS during their annual meeting/conference, held this year here in St. Louis from April 11-14. Though there has only been one apparition of Mary released so far, get excited for the new Marian Activity and Patch Series to become a huge success!
Marian Activity and Patch Series - Our Lady of Guadalupe
The goal of this activity is to honor Mary, the Mother of God. The Church calendar for the United States includes nineteen different Marian feasts or commemorations. By focusing on these different Marian feasts, the activities and patches in this series will shed light on how and why the Church has honored the humble Virgin of Nazareth for more than 2,000 years.
How to start
Read about Our Lady of Guadalupe. You can find the answers to these questions on www.newadvent.org. Feel free to use other resources.
1st - 5th Grades - Complete 3 requirements and 2 of the activities. 6th - 12th Grades - Complete 4 requirements and 3 of the activities. Adults - See flyer
In 1531 miracles began to happen. Who appeared to humble Juan Diego?
When is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe?
Fill in the blank: Our Lady of Guadalupe is Patroness of the _____________________.
What three miraculous signs convinced the Mexican people that the Catholic faith was true?
What was God's purpose in choosing Mary to appear to Juan?
Draw a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and share this picture with your family and friends.
Attend a Spanish-speaking Mass and interview some of those who attend regularly about what Our Lady of Guadalupe means to them.
Within a short time, six million Native Mexicans were baptized as Catholics because of what they witnessed and heard about Our Lady of Guadalupe. Attend a Baptism. What does Baptism do? Why is it important to be baptized? (see Catechism of the Catholic Church #1213)
Create a poster showing the three miracles that happened to Juan Diego. Display this poster in your home or community for all to see.
Requirements for Adults
Assist the youth with this Footsteps of American Saints activity
Share your thoughts with the youth about this Saint.
Review the responses to the requirements of each youth participant to confirm his accuracy and to insure his understanding.
Fill out the application for this Marian activity and send it along with the fee to NCCS.
For more information about this Saint, check out the websites below.
The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry has announced a new patch program called the "Catholic Identity Patch Program." The Catholic Identity program is a religious activity program intended for girls grades 1 through 12 (but is open to all youth) and encourages them to learn more about their faith, to serve their community, and to grow in holiness.
There are two different patch series: The "Women in Scripture" series focuses on individuals who lived lives of courage and faithfulness. These women often fanned the flame of faith in their families and communities and were the backbone of the church and faith since the very beginning of Jesus' ministry. And the "Models of Faith" series- throughout the long tradition of the Catholic Church, women and men have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to stand up for the faith in the midst of great trials and at deep personal risk.
Notes: Each patch is earned by youth completing four of the outlined activities. To participate, download the PDF activity sheet for the patch desired below. Once the activities are completed and the patch earned, purchase the patch through our online store or at our office. Girls may place this patch on the back of their sash or vest.
UPDATE: The Catholic Identity patches will soon be availablefrom the Office of Catholic Scouting. Order them online or in the office today, and we will get them to you as soon as possible!