Scouts reminded that ‘duty to God’ comes before all else

Photo Caption: Connor Messmer of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Peoria Heights, receives the Light of Christ Medal from Bishop Jenky at the Diocesan Scout Mass on Feb. 10. Father Glenn Harris, chaplain, looks on.

By: By Jennifer Willems

Everyone knows that Scouts are expected to be trustworthy, helpful, courteous, obedient, loyal, friendly, kind, cheerful and brave, but it was their “duty to God” that Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, spoke of during his homily at the annual Diocesan Scout Mass.

“I hope in all the plans you make — where you’ll go to school, what you’re going to pursue, anything you do — that you’re always ready to hear what Jesus might say, even if it might be surprising,” he told the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who filled St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on Feb. 10.

More than 100 of them would be called forward to receive religious medals and emblems from Bishop Jenky in recognition of what they had learned about Scouting and their faith in the last year. He also recognized 10 adult leaders with the Bronze Pelican Award and St. George Emblem, the highest honor that can be bestowed in Scouting. (See the complete listing of awards below.)

He praised the “great lessons” that come from being active in Scouting. In addition to trying new things and deciding who they are and want to be, Scouts learn how to work as a team and “be part of something that’s bigger than yourself.”

Those involved in Catholic Scouting must develop one more skill, according to Bishop Jenky.

“It’s not if the Lord will call you but when the Lord calls you,” he said. “Listen to him. Don’t just depend on all those things you learning in Scouting, but also depend on the power of God.”

The young men and women demonstrated their willingness to do that by taking an active part in the Mass, from proclaiming the Word of God as lectors, to bringing the gifts of bread and wine forward to be received by Bishop Jenky, to serving at the altar. They were also generous in their applause for their fellow Scouts who received awards and the adults who were recognized for working with them.

The activity patch provided for each Scout who attended the Mass was designed by Paul Sefranek of Holy Cross Parish in Champaign, who serves on the Diocese of Peoria’s Catholic Committee on Scouting. It bears an image of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen celebrating Mass while a Boy Scout and Girl Scout look on. The patch notes that this was the 11th Scout Mass and that it took place during the Year of Faith.

“We thought it was important to include someone local that they could look up to during the Year of Faith,” said Dr. Linda Atherton of Champaign, who chairs the diocese’s Catholic Committee on Scouting.

Following are the religious medals and emblems awarded to the Scouts and the adult leaders:

Isabel Kiser, Hannah Kear, Alyvia Fager, Junie Dunn, Taylor Whitehurst, Piper Wright (Troop 4649, St. Edward’s, Chillicothe); Elaine Grant, Sofia Howell (Troop 4003, St. Edward’s, Chillicothe); Caroline Best, Mary Breitbach, Margaret Conahan, Elizabeth Daly, Becca Dawson, Kaitlyn Doran, Katherine Franke, Emily Hard, Elsie Hayes, Mackenzie Heffron, Carolyn Hodskins, Keira Jones, Lucy Kirchgessner, Ella LaFollette, Madeline MacGregor, Sarah McGee, Abigail Miller, Zoe Mary Elizabeth Padilla, Molly Schliepsiek, Madeline Tomblin Mazzola (Troop 4796, St. Philomena’s, Peoria); Elizabeth Haines, Mary Kate Manning, Olivia Daniels, Felicity Olsen, Kendyl Halsey, Lauren DellaValle, Sarah Jean Wertz, Ciara Smith, Madison Vogler (Troop 4046, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria)

Gavin Young (Pack 55, Holy Trinity, Bloomington); Braden Cook (Pack 3988, St. Patrick’s Church of Merna, Bloomington); Zachary Houtekier, Garrett Castens (Pack 109, Sacred Heart, Moline); William Ellison (Pack 76, Blessed Sacrament, Morton); Tyler Robenstein, Hernan Rosalem, Christian Zeller, Connor Messmer, Holden Tyre (Pack 28, St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights); Jacob Dawson, Aidan DellaValle, Aidan Flaherty, Jude Isada, John Henry Marcinak, Cole Roberts, Bradley Schifeling, Garrett Short, Ryan Reznik (Pack 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Aiden Kennedy, Aiden Lemons, Dylan Varnell, Jack Grow, Jeff Nosalik, Michael Carson, Ryan Bousek, Simon Radford, Trey Spiller (Pack 18, St. Philomena’s, Peoria); Matthew Gray (Pack 147, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Ethan Rawson (Pack 254, St. Jude’s, Peoria)

Alex Brouillette, William Woyak, Joshua Vogel, Joshua Jongky (Pack 55, Holy Trinity, Bloomington); Connor Houtekier, Samuel Maynard (Pack 109, Sacred Heart, Moline); Brennan Messmer, Zachary Sherman, Aidan Anderson, Juan Sanchez, Branden Madelan (Pack 28, St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights); Manuel Aguilar, Isaiah Daniels, Owen Flaherty, Connor Groom, Phillip Rupert, Samer Sader, Christopher Tierro, Noah Wertz (Pack 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Colman Kennedy, Conrad Schallmoser, Jerin Holcomb, Mason Varwig, Zach Winschel, Louis Scholl (Pack 18, St. Philomena’s, Peoria) Johnathan Quandt, Nicholas Zettler (Pack 245, St. Jude’s, Peoria)

Trent Cardott (Troop 109, Sacred Heart, Moline); Noah Kelly (Troop 109, St. Pius X, Rock Island); Nathan Graves (Troop 109, St. Maria Goretti, Coal Valley); Corey DeLathower, Alexander Scott, Peter Mills, Connor Flack, Sean Casey (Troop 109, Christ the King, Moline)


Jenny Brose, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria; John Brose, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria; Mary Claire Geraghty, St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights; Gregory Koerner, Holy Cross, Champaign; Cathy Koerner, Holy Cross, Champaign; Craig Rocke, Holy Family, Peoria; Ben Rogers, Sacred Heart, Moline; Patricia Scott, Christ the King, Moline

Dr. Lawrence Atherton, St. Matthew, Champaign; Robert Graves, St. Maria Goretti, Coal Valley

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