Scouts’ service, accomplishments, faith are recognized at annual diocesan Mass
On a day when Scouts from around the Diocese of Peoria gathered to celebrate their accomplishments, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, encouraged them to use their new skills well and often.
“In Scouting you are taught to be of service in this world, to make this world a better place, and you all do it in different ways,” he during his homily at the Diocesan Scout Mass on Feb. 10 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria.
Marveling at “all those badges,” the bishop reminded them there are a variety of badges for specific skills, just as every person has different gifts.
“We are very proud of you,” Bishop Jenky said. “You aren’t sitting in front of a computer or a TV set. You’re doing things. Keep that up all your lives and let Jesus, his word, his teaching, his example be a part of who you are and he will make whatever you bring to him an abundance, a marvelous, amazing catch.”
After Communion, the young men and women in uniforms were called forward to receive from Bishop Jenky the religious awards they had earned over the last year. While many were present at St. Mary’s Cathedral and took an active role in the liturgy as flag bearers, gift bearers and altar servers, there were still more who were unable to come that day, according to Linda Atherton of Champaign, who chairs the Diocese of Peoria Catholic Committee on Scouting. (See the complete list at the end of this story.)
ADULTS, UNITS ALSO HONORED
After the youth received their awards, it was the adults’ turn.
Charles (Chuck) Jiardina of St. Mary in Bloomington and Pete Targos of St. Jude in Peoria received the Bronze Pelican Award for their longtime service and commitment to Catholic Scouting.
The St. George Emblem, which recognizes individuals for their significant contributions, was presented to Bob Graves of St. Maria Goretti in Coal Valley and Ben Rogers of Sacred Heart in Moline. (For more on Ben Rogers, see story here.)
This year, three local packs and three troops received the Pope Paul VI National Catholic Unit Excellence Award. Five of them achieved a gold level rating, and one was recognized at the silver level. (See the listing on this page.)
While the award has been around for a long time, it has been updated in recent years to include better ways to determine excellence, Atherton explained.
In following the model set forth by the Boy Scouts of America, for example, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting looks at 10 different points, such as is the unit growing? Are the Scouts involved in the religious emblems program?
“What the Boy Scouts have found is that the units are improving because they have measurable metrics to judge what they should be doing. Hopefully we’re going to find the same thing with Catholic Scouting,” Atherton said, noting that it means a lot to have six units in central Illinois recognized this year.
“I think it just says that we’ve been doing this well for awhile and now we have a more precise tool to document it,” she told The Catholic Post.
“It is outstanding is the only way I can put it,” said Mark Hilliard, packmaster for Pack 52 and assistant scoutmaster for Troop 52, both in Princeville. He said they spent three years working toward their gold level rating, which included making sure all of the Scouts and Cub Scouts have 100 percent of their religious awards.
“It’s an honor, but the more important thing is the Scouts have been helped,” said Cubmaster Tim Hendrickson of Pack 3925 of Epiphany Parish in Normal, which also received a gold level rating.
“You see a lot of people who are involved in Scouting, adult leaders, that are modeling service to others,” he said. “My hope is that someday, the Scouts that are in our units now will do the same when they grow up.”
RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS AND MEDALS
Following is a list of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls from around the Diocese of Peoria who earned religious awards this year. While many of them were at St. Mary’s Cathedral for the Diocesan Scout Mass on Feb. 10, some celebrated at Scout Sunday Masses in their own parishes.
This list also includes adult leaders who were honored and the Scouting units that were recognized for excellence.
FAMILY OF GOD
Kaitlyn Jelinek and Madeleine McGraw (AHG Troop 2112, Epiphany, Normal)
I LIVE MY FAITH
Piper Ledell, Gwendolyn Kosik, Elle Welsh, Claire Niebur, Kara Taber (Troop 1106, Epiphany, Normal)
GOD IS LOVE
Felicity Toca (AHG Troop 2112, Epiphany, Normal)
LIGHT OF CHRIST
Benjamin Blank, Steven Urbanc, Chase Eberle (Pack 52, St. Mary of the Woods, Princeville); Charlie Haas, Christopher Trevino, Dominic Toca, Nathan Marshall, Noah Koetters, Leo Trevino, (Pack 25, Epiphany, Normal); James Linnenburger, Samuel Easton (Pack 9, Holy Cross, Champaign)
Nolan Becker, Zachary Perry, Theo Shimon, Drake Swinehart, Evan Tady (Pack 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Paul Koetters, Jameson McGraw, Joseph McGraw (Pack 25, Epiphany, Normal); George Hatton, Bennet Engstrom, (Pack 168, St. Patrick, Washington); Taylor Lindsey, Edison Lindsey (Pack 168, St. Monica, East Peoria); Jacob Kossler (Pack 55, St. Mary, Bloomington); Gabriel Hobart, Cooper Hobart (Pack 3073, St. Patrick, Washington); Zora Unger (Pack 9, Holy Cross, Champaign); Nicholas Jelinek, Caelen Casper (Pack 3925, Epiphany, Normal); Mark Geraghty, Burke Blakney, Emir Ortiz (Pack 55, St. Mary, Bloomington); Timothy Rogers, Cullan Hoekstra, Jordan Schultz (Pack 257, St. Luke, Eureka); Owen Hill, Mason Hilliard, Aidan Huss (Troop 52, St. Mary, Princeville); Ian Huss (Pack 52, St. Mary, Princeville); Ben Paluszkiewicz (Pack 3028, St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights); Jonathan Freadhoff (Pack 627, St. Malachy, Geneseo)
AD ALTARE DEI
Joseph Ulozas (Troop 121, St. Matthew, Champaign); Matthew Lugardo (Troop 101, St. Matthew, Champaign); Dylan Haddox, Braden Cook, John Bruemmer (Troop 20, St. Patrick Church of Merna, Bloomington); Joey Leffers, T.J. Hendrickson, Kyle Koch, Benedict Smith, Aidan McCoy (Troop 20, Epiphany, Normal); Phillip Rupert (Troop 156, Sacred Heart, Peoria); Aidan Flaherty, Marcus Targos, Sean Magner (Troop 156, St. Jude, Peoria); David Harris, Matthew Gray, Jude Isada (Troop 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Andrew Smart (Troop 156, St. Bernard, Peoria); Isaiah Daniels (Troop 156); Aidan Hoekstra (Troop 57, St. Luke, Eureka); Caullin Heebner (Troop 121, St. Philomena, Monticello); Mason Hilliard, Owen Hill, Aidan Huss, Daniel Huss Jr. (Troop 52, St. Mary, Princeville)
POPE PIUS XII
Noah Riedle (Troop 122, St. Thomas Aquinas, Mount Pulaski)
Charles (Chuck) Jiardina, St. Mary, Bloomington
Pete Targos, St. Jude, Peoria
ST. GEORGE EMBLEM
Bob Graves, St. Maria Goretti, Coal Valley
Ben Rogers, Sacred Heart, Moline
POPE PAUL VI NATIONAL CATHOLIC UNIT EXCELLENCE AWARD
Pack 9, Holy Cross, Champaign
Jim Linnenburger, Cubmaster
Pack 3925, Epiphany Parish, Normal
Tim Hendrickson, Cubmaster
Pack 3955, Corpus Christi, Bloomington
Kevin Cook, Cubmaster
Troop 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria
Paul Harris, Scoutmaster
Troop 9, Holy Cross, Champaign
Gabe Jackson, Scoutmaster
Troop 20, St. Mary, Bloomington
Chris Knoll, Scoutmaster