March 5, 2010

Hundreds of Scouts honored at religious emblems ceremony

Parents and family members of Scouts being honored from Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood snap photos as Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger greets the Scouts. (Photo by Brandon A. Evans)

Parents and family members of Scouts being honored from Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood snap photos as Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger greets the Scouts. (Photo by Brandon A. Evans)

By Brandon A. Evans

Hundreds of boys, girls, men and women—all involved in Scouting—gathered at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on Feb. 28 to be honored for their dedication to the Catholic faith.

The annual religious emblems ceremony included songs, readings from Scripture, a homily, and the blessing and presentation of Scouting awards to those who have earned them during the last year.

The religious emblems, which vary from Boy Scouts to Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Webelos, honor hard work and the living of Catholic values. (See a photo gallery from this event)

This year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America.

Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger of the Diocese of Evansville presided over the ceremony, and also blessed the religious emblems and medals. The bishop is the episcopal liaison to the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

“Bless these awards,” he said, his hands outstretched over a large table filled with cases and envelopes. “May they always be a sign of peoples’ striving to grow in faith. And may they represent our commitment to learn continually your divine truth and serve lovingly all your people.”

Before handing out the honors, Bishop Gettelfinger reflected on the Gospel reading for the event, which retold the parable of the faithful steward who, being given five talents, multiplied them for his master (Mt 25:14-30).

Through a series of questions and images, the bishop had the young people reflect on the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

“Those are the five talents you’ve been given,” he said. “Those are the five talents that you’re going to be held accountable for at the end of time.”

We are called not to abuse our senses, he said, but instead to make the most of them and enjoy them.

Among the honorees was Gary Kubanscek of Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood. He was one of two people in attendance to be awarded the St. George Medal, which recognizes significant service to Catholic Scouting.

Kubanscek spent 12 years of his youth in Scouting, and 13 years as an adult leader for the Boy Scouts. His involvement with Scouting has also included being a Girl Scout leader, and he has trained several hundred leaders to work with Scouts with special needs. He currently serves as co-chair of the Catholic Committee on Scouting in the archdiocese.

“It is always great to be recognized for service in Scouting, especially in my faith,” Kubanscek said. “With a son, Michael, as a seminarian for the archdiocese, it makes it very special to know Catholic Scouting was a strong influence in his vocational path.”

This annual event is important because it “recognizes a Scout’s duty to God as well as his/her effort to make their faith a part of their life,” he said. Such a duty is part of the oath of both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, he said, adding that the 12th point of Boy Scout Law is that a Scout is to be reverent.

“I try my best to live by the Scout oath and law every day. It’s not always easy, but when I want to do something that might not be Scout-like I ask myself, ‘Is that how an Eagle Scout would behave or act?’ I want to pass that ideology along to all my children and, in fact, as many youth as possible.”

Kubanscek’s daughter, Kara, was one of the youths recognized from Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish. His two sons, Michael and J.J., were altar servers at the event. †

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