Scouting helps all become ‘givers and servers,’ says bishop at annual Mass

Bishop Jenky shakes the hand of Michael Targos of Troop 156 after presenting the Pope Pius XII medal to him at the Diocesan Scout Mass on Feb. 12. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Jesus wants us to hold nothing back, but to give all we have — talents, skills, enthusiasm and especially our heart — for the glory of God, and Scouting can help people of all ages to do that, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, told those gathered at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria Feb. 12 for the Diocesan Scout Mass.

American Heritage Girls Bethany and Mary Greca of Metamora raise their hands in salute while they sing the National Anthem at the beginning of the Diocesan Scout Mass. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

“Scouting is one of those institutions that helps all of you to be givers and servers, and men and women, boys and girls who give what they have with a generous heart, who notice the needs of others, and then make a difference,” he told the American Heritage Girls, Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts and their adult leaders.

“The model for that kind of life in Christianity and I daresay in Scouting itself is Jesus himself,” the bishop said. “He lived among us, he taught us the truth, he worked miracles of mercy and he gave everything he had, down to the last drop of his blood, so much did he love us.”

Bishop Jenky encouraged them to keep giving everything they do and have in order to be like Jesus, promising that “you’ll find life is more interesting and wonderful with open-ended loving and serving. And know that if you have Jesus in your heart, finally nothing can defeat you — not even death.”


Religious emblems were awarded to nearly 50 young people at the Mass, with Bishop Jenky blessing the emblems and then distributing them to each child and young adult himself.

“This is more people than we’ve had in the last several years,” said Linda Atherton, who chairs the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting. “The attendance is going up and the number of kids receiving emblems has gone up this year — at their home parishes and here at the cathedral. We’re seeing more and more kids doing it, which is good. We’re excited about that.”

She noted that in addition to the 50 Scouts and American Heritage Girls recognized at the Feb. 12 liturgy, another 50 had received emblems in their home parishes.

Two adults were also recognized at the Scout Mass.

Sheila Scherder and John Brose receive a round of applause after receiving the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award and St. George Emblem, respectively. Looking on are Bishop Jenky and Father Glenn Harris, diocesan director and chaplain of Catholic Boy and Girl Scouts. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

John Brose, who has worked with Troop 156 and Troop 40 at St. Jude in Peoria, received the St. George Emblem, while Sheila Scherder, a Girl Scout leader for Troop 4478 of St. Jude, St. Vincent de Paul, and St. Thomas the Apostle in Peoria, received the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton award. Both are members of St. Jude Parish.

Some of the American Heritage Girls present were sporting a new activity patch this year. The Year of Mercy activity patch was designed to help the girls explore the concept of mercy in Scripture, as well as the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and what they could do.

While the activity patch could be earned individually, the members of both troops present worked on theirs together.

The Scouts weren’t just there to receive emblems, however. They took active roles in the Mass as flag bearers, gift bearers and altar servers.


Family of God: Chelsea Arrick (Troop 4481, St. Patrick, Washington); Juliette Evans, Irene Lervaag, Anna Marstall, Bernadette Marstall, Elizabeth Theisen (American Heritage Girls Troop IL 1249, St. Jude, Peoria)

I Live My Faith: Annabelle Kirkpatrick, Morgan Leet, Gabrielle Marcinak, Elizabeth Shane, Grace Theisen (AHG Troop IL 1249, St. Jude, Peoria)

Mary, The First Disciple (Marian Medal): Maggie Scherder, Lindsey Longanbach, Alexandra Plavec, Ellen Harris, Grace Fady (Troop 4478, St. Jude, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria, and St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights)

Light of Christ: Richard “Andrew” Haas, Benjamin Micklich, Samuel Hannel, Paul Koetters, Joseph McGraw, Jameson McGraw, Seth Bojan, Thomas Nowinsky (Pack 3925, Epiphany, Normal); William “Tyler” Pray, Lane Elward (Pack 85, Blessed Sacrament, Morton); Sean Brayton (Pack 3720, St. Patrick, LaSalle); Zachary Dixon, Landyn Warfield, Andrew Mantranga, Victor Vu, Noah Williams, Raphael Nascimento, Henry Olsen, Joey Rummans, AJ Isada (Pack 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Keynan Toel (Pack 154, Holy Family, Peoria); Timothy Rogers (Pack 257, St. Luke, Eureka); Maxwell Schmidt, Benjamin Paluszkiewicz, Liam McVay, Brian Lewallen, John Goddard, Barrett Gangloff (Pack 28, St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights); Thonas Baker, John Baker, Manny Gonzalez, Will Meyers, Joe Doyle, Freddie Couri, Marcus Ice, Joseph Wake, Jack Coulter, Joe Ruggerio, Jacob Fulton (Pack 18, St. Philomena, Peoria)

Grace These of American Heritage Girls Troop IL 1249 displays the Year of Mercy activity patch the members of her troop worked on. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Parvuli Dei: Benedict Hendrickson, Alexander Welsh, Alex Grant, Bryan Lonergan (Pack 3925, Epiphany, Normal); Benjamin Kruse (Pack 3988, St. Mary, Bloomington); Chase Dwinal (Pack 3988, St. Patrick of Merna, Bloomington); Faddoul Toel (Pack 154, Holy Family, Peoria); Gabe Padilla, Bo Nosalik, John Couri, Sie Couri (Pack 18, St. Philomena, Peoria)

Ad Altare Dei: Carter Di Orio (Troop 40, St. Jude, Peoria)

Pope Pius XII: Ethan Scherder, Paul Rupert, Eric Brose, Andrew Fulcher, Terrance Flaherty, Michael Targos (Troop 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Sacred Heart, and St. Jude, Peoria); Charles Zettler (Troop 40, St. Jude, Peoria)


Bronze Pelican: Anthony Frasca Sr., Holy Cross, Champaign

St. George Emblem: John Brose, St. Jude Peoria

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Sheila Scherder, St. Jude, Peoria



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