By Tim Bishop
WHEELING—On Sunday, Feb., 8, parishes throughout the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston will celebrate Scout Sunday. The annual celebration coincides with the founding of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. The Scout Sunday tradition was started to make people in houses of worship aware of Scouting, and to allow Scouts to live out their “Duty to God” pledged each week.
The Scout Law says that a “Scout is Reverent” and scouts of all ages promise to do their “Duty to God.” Boy Scout officials said these values strengthen youth character in their family, community and faith.
Cub Scout leader and member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Stonewood, Bill Behrens said that the scouts and the church have developed a great relationship. He said the partnership is a great way for youth to become more involved in the life of the church as well as for the church to have more involvement in the lives of young people. Behrens said scouts are afforded the opportunity to earn a series of rosary patches and a “Life of the Saints” badge. These are also several youth and adult scout honors that are awarded through the church. “I believe that just having our young people be able to do more with the church in some fashion is very important,” he said. “Scouting gets youth involved in a different way and learn a little bit about God.”
Behrens said Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish will hold a special award ceremony for scouts and their leaders during Mass on Feb. 8. He said that many other parishes across the diocese will hold similar celebrations.
For more information about the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, contact Father Dennis R. Schuelkens, Jr., chaplain for the diocesan committee on scouting and pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Wheeling, at (304) 242-6575.