June 28, 2019

Volunteer follows God’s master plan

By John Shaughnessy

John HibnerJohn Hibner reveals a lot about his approach to life as he shares the story of what happened to a troubled child.

The story involves a boy “who had a rough time growing up,” being raised by a single parent in low-income housing.

When the child was struggling in middle school, his mom searched for a way to redirect his life and got him involved in a Boy Scouts troop where Hibner was the scoutmaster. Through that relationship, Hibner helped guide the youth to become an Eagle Scout, scouting’s highest honor. And the once‑troubled youth is now in college, doing well in his astrophysics program.

“I attribute that to all his experiences in scouting,” Hibner says, downplaying his personal impact.

That humility reflects the life of Hibner, who recently earned a 2019 St. John Bosco Award, the highest honor from the archdiocese’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO).

“I place a lot of trust in God. He’s got the master plan,” says the 61-year-old father of four and grandfather of three. “Faith-wise, I’m trying to do what I would want done for myself—the Golden Rule kind of thing.”

That approach has led to a long list of volunteer efforts. Beyond his more-than-25-year commitment to Scouting—where he has also served as the chairman of the Catholic Committee on Scouting in the archdiocese—Hibner has coached girls’ volleyball, girls’ basketball and boys’ basketball at St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis.

“I’ve done things out of love of kids. I love to teach the kids how to play, to help them improve. Winning is low on my priority.”

He is also extensively involved in other ways at St. Mark—leading the men’s group, serving on the pastoral council and helping start a young adult ministry.

“I just find it all to be a calling. It’s something somebody has to do, and I’m more than happy to do it. And I’m not the only one. It gets done through teamwork. That’s what our Church and St. Mark do. It’s a beautiful thing when everyone pitches in and gets the work done.” †


Related: Archbishop praises CYO honorees for letting God’s grace shine through them

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