Boy Scouts receive Christianity badges during Mass with Bishop
By MICHELLE DELANEY, Globe staff reporter
It was not uncommon to see several people sporting a multitude of brightly colored badges during a special Mass on the morning of March 24.
Bishop Walker Nickless presided over the annual Scout Mass at the Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City with Father William Vit, rector of Cathedral, concelebrating.
The Scout Mass was an opportunity for all Catholic Scouts, parents, leaders and committee members within the diocese to celebrate the accomplishments of the hard working Boy and Girl Scouts. During the Mass, religious emblem awards were presented to the Scouts who achieved all of the respective requirements by March 1.
Bishop Nickless began the Mass by recognizing Father Dennis Meinen who attended the Mass. Meinen is a diocesan priest who serves as the Scout chaplain.
Drew Noel, a Scout from troop 100 and a member of Sacred Heart Church of Sioux City, was the lector for the Mass and Russ Kock, chairman of the Catholic Committee on Scouting for the Diocese of Sioux City, cantered.
Bishop Nickless began his homily by recognizing how he looks forward to celebrating this special Mass each year. He acknowledged all of the perseverance and hard work each Scout has put into the process to receive a small award for their accomplishments.
He went on to compare Scouts and Christians. He recognized that Scouts make a conscious effort to make a difference in the world and the community, which coincides with Christian values.
“As Christians and Scouts we try to do good, some people will not like it or appreciate it, but we must do the right thing,” he said. “Every human being is to be treated with respect and we are called as Scouts and Christians to have virtuous eyes and give a good example to others.”
Bishop Nickless went on to thank not only the Scouts who volunteer in the community but all of the leaders who make the program available for the Scouts and the family and friends who support them in their projects.
Pope Pius XII, Marian, I Live my Faith, Light of Christ, ParVuli Dei and Ad Altare Dei awards were presented.
The Pope Pius XII award is given to those who participate in youth led discussions on current issues surrounding the church and learn about different occupations and ministries in the church.
Michael Martin, Gabe Griesel, Drew Noel, Jesse Beckner, J.J. Beckner and Josh Magana, all from Sioux City, received this medal.
Noel said, “To get my award we did a lot of discussing about the way a person is developing and has developed in their faith. We also learned a lot about the different types of services we can do and the different type of vocations that people can have.”
Noel is the son of Beth and the late Stephen Noel and has been in the Boy Scouts for six years.
“I think it’s a good way to learn about who you really are as a person and what we can really be as a person. It’s an important step in the developing process,” he said.
Miranda Liebsack of Paulina earned the Marian award. This is the highest Catholic medal a Girl Scout can earn in the Cadette level of scouting. The award is earned by learning more about Mary and what it means to be a young woman of faith.
To earn the I Live My Faith emblem, one must analyze how she participates as a member of her family and her parish family. She must also volunteer for various forms of service to her parish and others. Rebecca Liebsack of Paulina was awarded this emblem.
The Light of Christ Award is to help the Scout develop a personal relationship with Jesus and help them see Jesus as a real person and friend. Nathan Heinrichs, Benjamin Nielsen and Garrett Christensen, all from towns near Carroll, earned this emblem.
The purpose of the Parvuli Dei award is to help Cub Scouts explore various activities used to discover the presence of God in their daily lives. Also, its purpose is to help them develop a good, positive self-image through contributions to a group or community. Parvuli Dei means “little children of God.” Caleb Rotert, of Halbur, Jacob Blum and Grant Nielsen, of towns near Carroll, Matt Griesel of Sioux City and Kaleb Fisher, of Churdan, were given this award.
Troy Bickham and Nigel Niemer of Madrid were presented with the Ad Altare Dei emblem. Ad Altare Dei, which means, “to go to the altar of God,” is awarded to the Scouts who have developed a Christian way of life based on the sacraments. The Scout works on the requirements under the guidance of a counselor in the same way he works for a merit badge. After completing the requirements, a board reviews and evaluates the candidate’s growth.
Jesse Reeg-Beckner, a member of St. Boniface Church in Sioux City, said, “We had to learn more about how God calls us to do our duty and how we can be able to sense that he’s with us. It’s important to learn more about your religion and how to be able to get closer to God.”
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