Diocesan Scout Mass: Celebrating family of Scouting in the family of the church
For Chris Lugardo, Scouting isn’t just an outdoor program. It’s youth ministry.
“We started because it was something for our oldest to do when he was of age. But quickly, when I started looking through the Scout manual and seeing the values and virtues that Scouting was based on, that really appealed to us, because they were really complementary to the Catholic faith,” he explained.
At the Diocesan Scout Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Feb. 19, Lugardo, Cubmaster of Pack 121 in Champaign, received the Bronze Pelican Award for making “a significant and outstanding contribution to the spiritual development of Catholic youth in the Boys Scouts of America.” Cheering him on were his wife, Jenny, and five children, all in their uniforms.
The Bronze Pelican Award, a diocesan recognition, was also given to Bishop Louis Tylka, for his support of Scouting, and Margaret “Meg” Hatton of St. Patrick in Washington, a trained religious emblem counselor and registered BSA leader.
In addition, 16 Scouts received the Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei, or Ad Altare Dei emblems from Bishop Tylka.
He commended them for their work and thanked their parents and Scout leaders for their time and commitment to Scouting.
Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls were also recognized in their parishes on Feb. 5, Scout Sunday. While they didn’t receive awards at the cathedral, many came to be part of the celebration.
Working hard to receive religious emblems is a good thing, Bishop Tylka said in congratulating the Scouts. There’s something that’s even better, however, he told them.
“We are called to be holy. It is a universal calling,” Bishop Tylka said, adding that priests and religious are not the only ones who must work toward this
“It is a path we are all on, it is a journey that we are making. None of us are quite there yet,” he told them. “There is work to be done — in the world and in our own lives.”
In the Gospel passage from Matthew, Jesus challenges his disciples to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them.
That means resisting our instinct to respond in kind or seek revenge, the bishop said. Instead, he encouraged them to stand up to the world and say, “No, we want to live for more. We want to live for heaven.”
It won’t be easy, he acknowledged, but is necessary.
“The Lord is not here to give us merit badges and awards, as good as they are and they do mark out our efforts. They are reminders to us of our past successes, but even more are challenges going forward,” Bishop Tylka said.
“We don’t do it to get the badge on our uniform. We do it because it’s who we are called to be,” he explained. “We do it because it is the way that Jesus wants us to live. We do it because it’s a life seeking heaven and not just the acknowledgement of things on earth.”
Dr. Linda Atherton, chair of the Diocese of Peoria’s Catholic Committee on Scouting, said Lugardo is an active member and volunteer at St. Matthew Parish in Champaign. He was nominated for the Bronze Pelican Award for being instrumental in seeing to it that the youth of the parish are familiar with and earn their Catholic religious emblems.
Those who supported his nomination said he is “an outstanding example of a servant leader.”
Hatton is a fourth grade teacher at St. Patrick School in Washington. She is not only active with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts at St. Patrick, but was an American Heritage Girl leader for two years.
Religious emblems, medals given at Diocesan Scout Mass
Bronze Pelican Award: Bishop Louis Tylka, Margaret Hatton (Troop 206, St. Patrick, Washington), and Chris Lugardo (Pack 121, St. Matthew, Champaign)
The Bronze Pelican Award is a diocesan recognition given to adults who have made a significant and outstanding contribution to the spiritual development of Catholic youth in the Boy Scouts of America.
Light of Christ: Xavier Stanley, Logan Stanley, Vincent Bauml (Pack 156, Holy Family, Peoria); Lincoln Wayne (Pack 156, St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights); Henry Roth, Luke Hansen, Isaac Elias (Pack 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Hunter Gehrig (Pack 156, St. Jude, Peoria); Carter Brown (Pack 3064, St. Mary of Lourdes, Metamora)
This program complements the preparation for the sacraments of First Communion and reconciliation. It does not replace the sacramental preparation instruction.
Parvuli Dei: Edward Shimon, Timothy Olsen, Noah Straub (Pack 156, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria); Lucas Matthew, Matthew Albrecht (Pack 3955, St. Patrick Church of Merna, Bloomington)
Translated “Children of God,” the program encourages the Scout to look at himself as a member of God’s family by looking at his role within his earthly family.
Ad Altare Dei: George Hatton, Ryan Dansizen (Troop 206, St. Patrick, Washington)
The purpose of this program is to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person by encouraging him to actively live out his Catholic Christian faith.