February 22, 2008

Growing in faith: Hundreds of archdiocesan Scouts receive religious awards

Holy Angels parishioner Reggie Ash of Indianapolis displays a tray of “whole cats,” breaded catfish that he deep-fried during the Indianapolis West Deanery parish’s Lenten fish fry on Feb. 8 at the Holy Angels School cafeteria. (Photo by Mary Ann Wyand)

Billy Payne of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Jeffersonville receives the Ad Altare Dei Award from Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel. Assisting Msgr. Schaedel is Kim Wickizer of the Catholic Committee on Scouting. She is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Shelbyville. (Photo by Mike Krokos)

By Mike Krokos

For Eddie Peterson, the lessons of Scouting include hard work and perseverance.

The recognition, like the Ad Altare Dei Award, comes from learning more about Catholicism and getting closer to God.

“It [the Ad Altare Dei Award] shows you are growing in the faith,” said Eddie, an Eagle Scout and member of St. Malachy Parish in Brownsburg who was among the more than 300 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts honored during a special ceremony on Feb. 17 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

One of the biggest things that Eddie, a junior at Brownsburg High School, said he has learned from Scouting is, “You have to really work for what you want.”

Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel, vicar general, presided at the annual religious emblems ceremony for Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, who last week underwent his second chemotherapy procedure to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer affecting the lymphatic system.

Although Archbishop Buechlein was not able to attend, Msgr. Schaedel said the archbishop—an Eagle Scout himself—was thinking about and praying for the Scouts.

While Boy Scouts could earn the Ad Altare Dei Award or the Pope Pius XII Award, Girl Scouts like Kiarah Chrisman of St. Lawrence Parish in Lawrenceburg could earn the Marian Award or the I Live My Faith Award.

Kiarah received the Marian Award.

“We studied the life of Mary, and visited churches and cathedrals,” said Kiarah, an eighth-grade student at St. Lawrence School. “She lived through a lot. It would be hard.”

Cub Scouts can receive the Parvuli Dei Award or the Light of Christ Award, and Brownies can receive the Family of God Award.

The awards program included music, Scripture readings and a homily by Msgr. Schaedel. Father Thomas Schliessmann, archdiocesan chaplain of Scouts and pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Franklin and Holy Trinity Parish in Edinburgh, served as master of ceremonies.

In his homily, Msgr. Schaedel told the Scouts that they need to have confidence in all aspects of their life, including their life of faith.

“Jesus wants full confidence. Jesus asks each of us for faith,” he said. “And that includes faith in scary situations. Jesus wants to be our friend—someone we can depend on.”

There will be trials in life, Msgr. Schaedel said, and at those times “Jesus will be the one who carries us through deep water.

“In the Gospel, Jesus tells his Apostles, ‘Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid’ ” (Mt 14:27), Msgr. Schaedel said.

That phrase—those four words—appears in the Bible 365 times, he added.

“Every single day, we are called to trust. Trust God,” Msgr. Schaedel said.

Faith is a risk, he added, and we won’t get anywhere in life unless we jump into what God wants us to do.

Whether it is telling the truth, working to earn a Scouting award, striving to make the honor roll or even considering a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated religious life, we need to have the courage to give our life to God, Msgr. Schaedel said.

“… It’s a jump into unchartered waters. Yet, if we want to be happy, we can’t just stand still,” he said. “We have to move in faith.

“It’s a jump into unknown territory, but it’s a move we make holding God’s hand,” he said.

“Trust is what God asks from each of us. Confidence 365 days a year,” Msgr. Schaedel said. “God wants childlike trust in big matters or small matters. It’s all the same to God.” †

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