Scouts receive religious medals, emblems at diocesan Mass

Photo Caption: Bishop Jenky awards the Family of God medal to Megan Graham of St. Patrick Parish, Urbana, during the annual Scout Mass at St. Mary’s Cathredral on Feb. 9.

By: By Tom Dermody

When Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, ended his homily at the Diocese of Peoria’s Scout Mass last Sunday by urging those in attendance “Don’t lose your light,” he wasn’t giving them camping advice.

“You can be good examples like a blazing light,” he said in a reflection on the day’s Gospel reading in which Jesus challenges his disciples to be “the salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”

“I’d like to think Scouting plays a role like that,” he told the many Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and their families from throughout the diocese at the Mass. Speaking from the sanctuary steps, he asked the young people to “be the salt of the earth by being givers and servers, people who help out, people who tell the truth.

“In a world that more and more seems to reject Jesus Christ,” he continued, “you can be the salt that is guided by the words of the Gospel and tries to live them.”

In doing so, said Bishop Jenky, the Scouts will be guides to others, including their bishop.

“If I get confused and I get troubled I can look to you and I feel guided again,” he said. “I feel encouraged to live the right way, have the truth in my heart, not blindness and lies.”

Among those present in the assembly were nearly 30 girls from newly former American Heritaqe Girls troops representing St. Jude Parish in Peoria and St. Mary Parish in Metamora. (See related story here.)

At the end of the Mass, 30 Scouts were recognized for steps they had taken in the past year to grow in their Catholic faith. In addition, four adult volunteers earned the Bronze Pelican award for their service to Scouting. All were called forward by Linda Atherton, who chairs the diocese’s Catholic Committee on Scouting, to receive medals, emblems, or certificates from Bishop Jenky.

Award recipients included:

Rebecca Gadbois (St. Luke, Eureka); Megan Graham (St. Patrick, Urbana)

Alyson Beatenbead, Danielle Rogers, and Allison Pococha (St. Luke, Eureka)

Alfred Hazzard III, J.P. Ament, Charles Hertzfeldt, Bennett Hurst, and Aidan Huss (Pack 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Charles Roman (Pack 254, St. Jude, Peoria); Aidan Hoekstra (Pack 257, St. Luke, Eureka); Chase Dwinal (Pack 3988, St. Patrick Church of Merna, Bloomington); Matthew Baker, Tomas Gonzalez, Matthew Kelly, Alex Malmgren, Tommy Meyer, Gabe Mezjak, and Danny Miller (Pack 18, St. Philomena, Peoria); Benjamin Kruse (Pack 3988, St. Mary, Bloomington); and William Goldammer (St. Jude, Peoria)

David Harris, Daniel Huss, Marcus Targos (Pack 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Ryan Bender (Pack 3028, St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights); William Ellison (Pack 76, Blessed Sacrament, Morton); Tyler Dwinal (Pack 3988, St. Patrick Church of Merna, Bloomington)

Luke Albertson and Joshua Irvin (St. Luke, Eureka)

BRONZE PELICAN (for adult volunteers)
— Father Eugene Radosevich, pastor of St. Luke Parish in Eureka and director of the Salve Regina Newman Center at Eureka College. Father Radosevich has embraced Scouting as part of youth ministry at his parish, and has taken an active role in the religious emblems programs. He presides at the parish’s annual Scout Sunday Mass.

— Sheila Scherder, coordinator for Cub/Boy/Girl Scout religious emblems at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Peoria. A leader in both Boy and Girl Scouting at her parish, she is also active in Elizabeth Ministry, Peoria FIRE (Foundation for Inclusive Religious Education), and a volunteer for the Heart of Illinois Down Syndrome Association.

— Michelle Quandt, also of St. Luke Parish, Eureka. A CCD teacher, assistant den leader and Webelos leader for Cub Scouts, she makes excellent use of the religious emblems programs available through the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

Not present at the Mass but also receiving the Bronze Pelican this year is Robert Plankenhorn of Holy Cross Parish, Champaign. A former committee chair for Pack 121 at St. Matthew, Champaign, he currently has the same role for Troop 9 at Holy Cross. He has completed Woodbadge (an advanced leadership training course for the Boy Scouts of America) and lead his Troop to the fall Catholic Scout retreat.

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