Adult scout leaders honored at prayer service
By Loretta Shea Kline
Catholic Key Reporter
INDEPENCE - Young people can be evangelists, they can do apostolic work, and they can engage in peer ministry, Bishop Raymond J. Boland of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said at a prayer service honoring adult leaders from both sides of the state line who serve as volunteers in the Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Camp Fire organizations.
Loretta Shea Kline/Key photo
Maureen Loehr, a member of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Kansas City, north, and Bishop Raymond J. Boland share a laugh. Loehr received the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal for her work with Girl Scouts.
"Young people can play a distinct role, and you are their mentors, their leaders and their guides," Bishop Boland told honorees, who gathered with family and friends Feb. 28 at St. Mark Parish in Independence for a prayer service and awards dinner.
The event was a joint effort of the youth offices of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas in cooperation with the Catholic committees on Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Camp Fire.
Bill Cordaro, director of youth and campus ministry for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, said the awards given to 53 people from the Diocese and Archdiocese highlight the importance of Scouting and Camp Fire activities to youth ministry.
"It's a great honor for our two dioceses to have so many people committed to youth in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Camp Fire organizations," Cordaro said.
In discussing a Scripture reading in which the Lord calls a young Jeremiah to service (Jeremiah 1:4-10) and a Gospel reading in which Jesus accepts the gift of loaves and fishes from a young boy and multiplies the gift (John 6:1-11), Bishop Boland told leaders that they have a right to the insight and help that God can give them as they seek to help young people discern their roles. He urged leaders to review Pope John Paul II's talk to youth in St. Louis in January in which the Holy Father exhorted young people to be ministers to their peers.
"He is telling the young people, don't wait, go out today and do Christ's work," Bishop Boland said.
Bishop Boland, who spent 15 years working in youth ministry as a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., said there are three things adult leaders can do to assist young people:
- Give them the tools to resist peer pressure to experiment with drugs, alcohol and sex by teaching them to ridicule those who want them to engage in potentially harmful behavior, by helping them defuse negative peer pressure with a sense of humor, by giving them real-life examples from the newspapers and other sources of why engaging in such behaviors is dumb, and by encouraging them to turn the tables and exert positive peer pressure.
- Be there for young people with difficult home situations without getting so absorbed in their problems that helping them becomes impossible.
- Provide opportunities that help young people make decisions about their life's work. Bishop Boland said an award-winning photographer who covered events including President John F. Kennedy's inauguration and funeral once told him that a parish photography club sparked an interest in photojournalism.
"In the programs that you sponsor, and Scouting is very good at this, it is possible to help young people find their vocations in life," Bishop Boland said.
Following is a listing of award winners from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
The St. George Emblem, the highest honor awarded by the Boy Scouts and Catholic Church to adults, is bestowed for outstanding contributions to the spiritual development of youth in Boy Scout programs. Recipients were: Steven Bouck, St. Mary Parish, Independence; Joy Freeland, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Independence; Leon Pfannenstiel, Holy Cross Parish, Kansas City; Glen Schmidt, Coronation of Our Lady Parish, Grandview; Howard Scott II, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Kansas City.
The Bronze Pelican Award is given to adult leaders who have given service to Boy Scout and Camp Fire programs, and have shown awareness and concern for the spiritual development of youth. Honored for their work with the Boy Scouts were: Melvin Browning, Immaculate Conception Parish, Montrose; Chuck Chamberlin, St. Peter Parish, Kansas City; Mike Flores, Christ the King Parish, Kansas City; Daniel Garber Jr., St. Mary Parish, Independence; John Gunther, Our Lady of the Presentation Parish, Lee's Summit; Phil Ishmael, St. Bernadette Parish, Kansas City; Robert Jones, St. Thomas More Parish, Kansas City; Reginald Kelch, St. Sabina Parish, Belton; Gail Lavenburg, St. James Parish, Kansas City; Joe Mikula, Sugar Creek; Dan Morales, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Raytown; Terry Morales, St. John Francis Regis Parish, Kansas City; John Ottaway, Our Lady of the Presentation Parish, Lee's Summit; Paul Penner, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Independence; Rebecca Torres, Our Lady of Peace Parish, Kansas City; Dave Tracewell, Visitation Parish, Kansas City; Bill Turner, St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Kansas City; Chuck Vlasin, St. Mark Parish, Independence; Nick Workman, St. John Francis Regis Parish, Kansas City.
The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal was inaugurated in 1980 to recognize the meritorious contributions of adults who serve Catholic youth through girls' organizations. Honored for her work with the Camp Fire organization was Sandra Harris, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Independence. Honored for their work with Girl Scouts were: Cathy Hubbard, Mary Jordahl, Barbara Martinez, Karen Meyers and Flora Pope, all of St. John Francis Regis Parish, Kansas City; and Maureen Loehr, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Kansas City.
The St. Anne Medal is the highest national recognition for adults who serve Catholic youth through girls' organizations. The award honors those who contribute to the Scriptural development of youth and further Catholic adult leadership in youth ministry. Honored for their work with the Camp Fire organization were Doreen Rogers and Kristi Seigler, both of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Independence. Honored for her work with the Girl Scouts was Vicki Raine, St. Therese Parish, Parkville.