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...).
Ministering to the youth is a vital aspect of the Archdiocese of Saint Louisí mission. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, including scouting programs for boys and girls.
Over the past three years, some issues and concerns have surfaced surrounding Girl Scouts USA and their relationship with World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, their international umbrella organization. The following letter, addressed to the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, was released by the Catholic Youth Apostolate in order to provide more information on this topic.
For more information, please contact Fr. Brian Fischer at 314.792.7602.
Ministering to the youth is a vital aspect of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis' mission. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, including scouting programs for boys and girls.
Over the past three years, some issues and concerns have surfaced surrounding Girl Scouts of USA and their relationship with World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, their international umbrella organization. The following letter, addressed to the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, was released by the Catholic Youth Apostolate in order to provide more information on this topic.
For more information, please contact Fr. Brian Fischer by phone at 314.792.7602 or by email.
Letter From the Catholic Youth Apostolate
November 11, 2014
Dear priests and faithful of the Archdiocese,
Peace be with you!
For the past three years, the Catholic Youth Apostolate, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri (GSEM) and concerned parents have been in dialogue to confront the many issues and concerns surrounding Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) and their relationship with the international umbrella organization, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
In addition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been in dialogue on a national level with GSUSA. As a result of those meetings, the USCCB issued a Question and Answer statement. It can be found here on the USCCB website.
As Bishop Rice also stated in a letter addressed to all priests in June, the Girl Scout program has enjoyed a long history of cooperation with our Catholic parishes. On that note, the Catholic Youth Apostolate commends the service of the dedicated Girl Scout troop leaders who have volunteered their time and effort with the very best intentions and motivations to provide a program that helps our Catholic girls grow in leadership and character.
However, GSUSA is a secular organization, and as such does not fully promote the teachings of the Catholic Church. Secular organizations are prone to move with the culture and trends of the world, which are certainly not always in line with the 2,000 year history and tradition of the Catholic Church.
I wanted to highlight just a few of the concerns that have surfaced. (This list is not exhaustive by any means):
WAGGGS supports and promotes "sexual and reproductive health and rights," and in many of their materials promotes artificial contraception and abortion.
GSUSA pays in excess of $1,000,000 each year as membership dues to WAGGGS. This total is based on the total number of girls registered as members in GSUSA. The funds come from investments income. However, by having girls in our parishes as registered Girl Scouts, more money goes to WAGGGS. Many of the programs WAGGGS offers do not support Catholic teaching and tradition.
"World Thinking Day" is an optional program within Girl Scouts that has a fundraising component for WAGGGS within it.
Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem are frequently presented as role models in Girl Scout materials. They promote and teach a worldview that is contrary to Catholic tradition.
The Journeys series (GSUSA's manuals) contain many other role models and organizations that promote views contrary to Church teaching as well. Some of these were removed after we raised concerns, but certainly not all.
It seems counterproductive to me that we need to be so vigilant in identifying problematic areas within GSUSA material. If we are using a program to help shape and form our girls into faithful women of God, shouldn't we offer and promote solid programs that help enrich their faith life?
Quoting Bishop Rice's letter to the priests again, he said,
The Office of Catholic Scouting states that 'Our Ministry is to bring the message of Jesus Christ to youth and adults involved in scouting through faith formation programs and retreats...' Since parents are the 'first teachers of their children in the ways of faith' (Baptism Ritual), we must do our best to offer programs that support parents as they fulfill their mission. To that end, there are two additional resources to assist in the faith formation of girls, the American Heritage Girls (Christian) and Little Flowers Girls Club (Catholic). I encourage you to familiarize yourself with these viable scouting options for girls.
I encourage anyone interested in finding out more about these two groups to visit their websites:
I am pleased to say that we are in the process of forming a committee to support these groups within our Catholic Scouting Ministry office for the whole Archdiocese. In addition, all of the Catholic formation programs and retreats offered by the Catholic Youth Apostolate will continue to be open to any and all girls seeking to grow in their knowledge and love of the Catholic faith.
Our long history with the Girl Scouts does not make this an easy issue to address; however the culture is changing. Our faith can oftentimes set us apart from what is popular and trending in the world, so here we begin to feel that pull. While secular programs feel they must change with the culture to survive, Jesus calls us to stand in the truth.
Please meet with your pastor if you would like to establish one of the recommended faith based groups in your parish. I also encourage you to engage in the many faith formation programs and retreats we offer through the Catholic Scouting Ministry office, so together we can help shape and form our girls into faithful women of God.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. We in the Catholic Youth Apostolate are here to serve you.
Yours in Christ,
Father Brian Fischer Executive Director Catholic Youth Apostolate
To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Catholic Girl Scouts, the National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts USA and Camp Fire USA has released a new limited-time patch.
The requirements for this new patch help girls celebrate the relationship between the Catholic Church and Girl Scouting by encouraging them to explore the rich traditions of the Catholic faith and inspiring them to become stronger members of their Catholic community, while striving to become faith-filled Christian women.
Ad Altare Dei review is required for all boys who have completed the Ad Altare Dei Faith Formation Award program.
Each scout needs to bring the program book and project related materials.
Once the review is completed the leader or parent collects the signed application and evaluation. The application is then turned in along with the payment for the medal, pocket card and knot. At this time you will receive a letter about the details of the Scout Sunday Prayer Service!
The leaders and parents are welcomed to attend!
What: AAD Board of Review is required for all boys who have completed the Ad Altare Dei Program.
Important: After the review all Application and fees are due. We take checks, cash, or charge.
The cost: The Medal, Knot and pocket card $12.50 The Scout or Parent Mini pin is $5.00
What to Bring: Scouts need to bring along all workbooks and project-related materials to the review.
Adults interested in helping with the review: Contact Greg Webb at email@example.com or 314-428-6234.
What about the Pope Pius XII Board of Review?
What: Pope Pius Board of Review is done in your local troop or crew with a peer board.
If you need help in setting up a peer board, please call the office and we can give you a contact to help you! Be sure to print off the attached helpful hints on the Board of Review for Pope Pius XII.
105 Years of Youth Ministry -"A Scout is Reverent" - The Scout Sunday Prayer service will be held on February 1, 2015, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in the Central West End. The Prayer service is where many of the Catholic unit awards and other faith formation awards for the scouts are presented.
*Scout Sunday Prayer Service at the Cathedral
Date: February 1, 2015 – 2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m. (Arrive no later than 2:00 p.m.!)
Place: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (on Lindell Blvd.)
All of the AdAltare Dei and Pope Pius XII awards are presented at the Cathedral Basilica. The requirements must be completed and the application received in the Office of Catholic Scouting Ministry no later than January 15 of each year.
What awards are presented at the Cathedral?
All Scouts who have earned the Ad Altare Dei and the Pope Pius XII awards will be presented at the Cathedral. The Archbishops unit award, Chaplians unit award, the National Quality unit award along with the adult St. George award will be presented at the Cathedral.
How can we have Parvuli Dei Parish Representatives at the Cathedral?
**We do offer to all parishes on a first come first serve basis to have parish representative for the Parvuli Dei awards. We accept a total of 50 youth Diocesan wide earning the Parvuli Dei award to be a Representative. Contact the office of Scouting Ministry with the estimated number of Scouts and the parish name. Applications are due for this group of scouts (presented at the Cathedral) on December 1 of every year.
All Scouts who have earned the Light of Christ and the Parvuli Dei awards are presented in the local parishes. **With the exception of Parvuli Dei Parish Representatives.
Why is Scout Sunday Celebrate on different dates?
* Some parishes celebrate Scout Sunday on the actual anniversary and some celebrate in other months. Some times its a matter of scheduleing and other events going on in the parishes. There is no right or wrong time, just celebrate Scout Sunday in your parish!
Scout Sunday Bulletin Covers for your local Parish
If you are interested in having a Scout Sunday cover for your local parish bulletin, please contact your pastor to get permission. The person that edits the bulletin can then choose the cover by going to the company that produces the bulletins for your parish. Some parishes celebrate Scout Sunday on the actual anniversary and some celebrate the anniversary in other months. There is no right or wrong way, just celebrate Scout Sunday!
Currently the two companies that service the St. Louis Archdioces.
Liturgical Publications Inc is pleased to make available for all parishes complimentary bulletin cover art for Scout Sunday, February 8, 2015, in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The cover art is available in full-color or in black-and-white. Any parish can use the commemorative cover, even if LPi is not your current bulletin publisher. The cover is available on LPi’s Art & Media Portal at www.Portal.4LPi.com. Current customers should log in as usual. If you are not an LPi customer, enter promo code “SCOUTS15” in the “Have a promo code?” field and click Redeem. Complete the remainder of the fields and click Submit to receive complimentary access to all of LPi’s clip art and reflections for 30 days. To quickly find the Scout Sunday covers, all you will have to do is enter the keyword “St. Louis” in the search bar on the upper left-hand side of the Web page. If you have questions about Portal, or have difficulty registering, please contact Lynne Buell at (800) 950-9952, ext. 2549, or e-mail her at LBuell@4LPi.com.
The St. George Trek, sponsored by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, is a biennial high adventure Catholic leadership program at Philmont Scout Ranch located in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains in Cimarron, New Mexico.
July 8 - July 23, 2015
The St. George Trek, sponsored by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, is a biennial high adventure Catholic leadership program at Philmont Scout Ranch located in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains in Cimarron, New Mexico. Only selected Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members get to attend the national two-week faith-filled hiking adventure, as each diocese in the United States is allowed to send only two participants each. This year, Thomas was the only participant from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and was sponsored in full by the generosity of a Catholic Committee on Scouting member. For the next Trek in 2015, the NCCS has already granted the Archdiocese of St. Louis two full-ride scholarships for our selected participants! If you know of anyone that would be interested in attending in 2015, have them contact the Office of Catholic Scouting.
Attached bellow is the application for the 2015 St. George Trek.
The International Catholic Conference of Scouting (ICCS) has invited all members of Catholic Scout Associations to join in the 100 year celebration of Catholics in Scouting. The ICCS is providing opportunities for scouts to meet together as friends in the Catholic Church via the internet, jamborees, earning religious emblems and programs like Messengers of Peace.
These activities will:
Link the Catholic Church with the Scouting Movement all over the world
Contribute to the Catholic education of youth through Scouting
Enhance the spiritual dimension of Catholic Scouts in the World Scout Movement
Who can work on this program?
All youth and adults—Scouts or non-Scouts, Catholic or non-Catholic, male or female—are welcome to participate in the Religious Activity Programs promoted by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting® (NCCS). These activities include the Rosary Series, the Footsteps of American Saints, the Modern Saints, the Marian Activities, the International Catholic Awareness Award, and the Good Turn Project. The activities may be used by families, schools, or any Girl Scout, Boy Scout, Cub Scout, American Heritage Girl, Campfire USA or Venture Scout, schools or any Catholic youth groups.
How long will this program be available?
The Blessed are the Merciful program will conclude at the Boy Scout National Jamboree in 2017 at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve (SBR) in West Virginia
Will there be any additional International Catholic Scouting activities at the conclusion of this program?
Yes. Plans are to introduce a program to follow that will encourage Catholic Scouts to continue to be good Catholic citizens of the world and emphasize the importance of their participation in the World Scout Jamboree that will be held in the United States at the SBR in the summer of 2019.
Do the completed answers need to be submitted to the NCCS?
No. The answers should be reviewed by an adult. The activity patch can be ordered through the Office of Catholic Scouting Ministry through our online store or at our office.
Is this activity considered a religious emblem that will allow the Cub or Boy Scouts to receive their Religious Emblem Knot after completion?
No. This is considered a religious activity not a religious emblem. Upon completion, the Blessed are the Merciful commemorative patch is available, but does not meet the requirements of a religious knot.
The approval of the Blessed are the Merciful activity was granted on April 27, 2014 by the NCCS Executive Board, the day that Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II were declared saints.
Pope John XXIII is best remembered for his historic encyclical “Pacem in Terris,” and for his calling of the Second Vatican Council. He promoted Peace on Earth and by convening the Second Vatican Council helped open the Church to the modern world.
Pope John Paul II is most remembered for his charismatic nature, his love of youth and his world travels, along with his role in the fall of communism in Europe during his 27-year papacy. He established the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday and encouraged the praying of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Patch Activity Requirements
To earn this patch, Scouts and leaders will be asked to participate in the World Organization of Scouting “Messengers of Peace” program as they perform organized “Act of Mercy” community service projects. Specifically,
Perform an act of mercy. The Corporal Works of Mercy are the kind of acts by which we help our neighbors with their material and physical needs. These acts are:
Feed the hungry
Shelter the homeless
Clothe the naked
Visit the sick and imprisoned
Bury the dead
Give alms to the poor
Register the act of mercy on the Messengers of Peace website.
Patches are to be presented to those who earned them and can be presented in a formal Awards Mass, Scout meeting, by family members, etc. The key is to make the presentation special, so the youth understand why they have earned this patch. Also, the patch should be presented in a timely manner so the youth is recognized shortly after completing the activity.