Scout leaders honored for service, commitment to youth
By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
KANSAS CITY — Honoring the adults who make Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Camp Fire possible in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bishop Robert W. Finn lauded them for their work in shaping boys and girls into morally strong men and women.
Kevin Kelly/Key photo
Deacon Del Wilkerson of Our Lady of the Presentation Parish in Lee's Summit receives the St. George Emblem from Bishop Robert W. Finn at a Feb. 18 prayer service honoring adult leaders in Scouting.
Calling the awards “a token truly — there is no way to give full compensation,” Bishop Finn told the leaders, their families and their friends gathered Feb. 18 at a prayer service at St. John Francis Regis Parish that their specific awards also symbolize their willingness to take up the mission of the church in forming young lives.
At the ceremony, 19 adult leaders received the Bronze Pelican Award, a diocesan honor recognizing “awareness and concern for the spiritual development of the youth with whom they work.”
Two adult leaders received the St. John Baptist de la Salle Emblem, a diocesan honor recognizing “the sharing of time, talent or treasure over a lengthy period of time.”
Five adult leaders received the St. George Emblem, the highest honor awarded by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting in recognition of “outstanding contributions to the spiritual development of Catholic Youth in the program of the Boy Scouts of America.”
Bishop Finn noted that in Christian art, a pelican is often depicted as feeding its young from its own body and blood.
“It is a sign of Christ who feeds us with his own body and blood,” the bishop said. “What you give is the gift of yourself — the gift of your experience, the gift of your time.”
The St. George Emblem, he said, represents St. George slaying a dragon.
“St. George is a reminder that we seek to protect our young from what is wrong and evil,” Bishop Finn said. “We cannot protect our young from all that is wrong and evil. But we can impart values so that they make decisions and choices themselves, put aside what is hurtful and destructive and help them develop the virtues and strengths which will help them lead productive lives.”
The St. John Baptist de la Salle Emblem is named for the saint that founded the Christian Brothers, one of the church’s great religious orders of teachers.
“The work of volunteers in Scouting is the work of teachers in instructing the young in what is right and wrong,” Bishop Finn said. “I know that what you do for them is out of a great sense of self-sacrifice and caring for them.”
Receiving the Bronze Pelican Award were:
Evila Acosta,Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Kansas City. Acosta serves as religious emblems counselor and helped revive Troop 40.
Daniel Adams, St. John Francis Regis Parish in Kansas City. Adams has been active in attracting boys to join Troop 98 and Pack 98.
Jacob Albers, St. John Francis Regis Parish in Kansas City. Albers is a founding member of Venture Crew 2553 which is dedicated to offering Scouting to developmentally disabled.
Precious Blood Father Timothy Armbruster. Recently transferred to St. Patrick Parish in Sedalia, Father Armbruster served scouts at St. Francis Xavier Parish in St. Joseph and as the St. Joseph chaplain for the Catholic Committee on Scouting.
Marilyn Beck, St. Francis Xavier Parish in St. Joseph. Beck is the religious emblems counselor for Troop 31 and helped plan a Stations of the Cross retreat last fall.
Anne Anderson-Boland,Christ the King Parish in Kansas City. Anderson-Boland promotes “Duty to God” as a part of each scouts daily life. In addition to serving Troop 30 at Christ the King, she is also working to establish a new troop at St. James Parish in Kansas City.
Dak Burnett, St. Therese Parish in Parkville. Burnett serves as troop chaplain and helped his unit develop their own prayer service.
Dave Fulks, Christ the King Parish in Kansas City. Fulks works on helping scouts understand the rule, “A Scout is Reverent,” by incorporating it into several facets of Scouting experience.
Timothy Hansen, St. John Francis Regis Parish in Kansas City. Hansen organizes Masses on campouts and promotes the annual Catholic Extravaganza.
Jerry Howard, St. George Parish in Odessa. Howard is the religious emblems counselor at St. George who makes certain that all scouts have all they need to achieve their emblems.
Thomas Jewitt, Holy Spirit Parish in Lee’s Summit. Jewitt serves as advisor for Crew 2875 that plans, organizes and implements the annual Catholic Scout Retreat.
Jim LaScala, Christ the King Parish in Kansas City. LaScala has served Troop 30 for 18 years, working on the annual Catholic Scout Retreat and encouraging his unit to participate.
Father Pat Murphy, Office of Hispanic Ministries, Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Father Murphy helped Camp Fire start the first Hispanic Community Family Club in 2004.
Stephen Pope, St. John Francis Regis Parish in Kansas City. Pope was instrumental in establishing Venture Crew 2553, the Scouting unit for the developmentally disabled.
Katherine Todd, Christ the King Parish in Kansas City. Todd serves as religious activities coordinator for Pack 30, working with den leaders and families in preparing for religious awards.
Daniel Ward,Our Lady of the Presentation Parish in Lee’s Summit. Ward is in charge of establishing the religious awards program at Our Lady of the Presentation.
Richard West, St. Anthony Parish in Kansas City. West organizes monthly Scout Sundays at the parish and works with scouts on religious emblems.
Christopher Wilbur, St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Kansas City. Wilbur organizes service projects for scouts at St. Catherine, participates and organizes Scout Sundays, and arranges Mass attendance at campouts.
Nathan Whelan, St. John Francis Regis Parish in Kansas City. Whelan has served for two years as the sascristan at the Chapel of the Twelve Apostles at the H. Roe Bartle Camp. He also serves on the religious emblems board of review at Bartle.
Receiving the St. George Emblem were:
Barbara Cosgrove, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Kansas City. Cosgrove has given more than 20 years to promoting Scouting for all youth, regardless of race or creed.
Kurt Killen, St. Therese Parish in Parkville. Killen has helped over 80 percent of the scouts in his unit receive religious emblems. Nearly every scout in the unit has also received the Rosary Patch.
Jerry Lehane, St. Mark Parish in Independence. Lehane serves as troop chaplain, organizes prayer service and arranges for scouts to attend Mass on campouts.
Tom Sack, St. John Francis Regis Parish in Kansas City. Sack has served as Scoutmaster and as committee chair for Troop 98 and Pack 98.
Deacon Del Wilkerson, Our Lady of the Presentation Parish, Lee’s Summit. Deacon Wilkerson serves as religious emblems counselor and on the religious emblems board of review. He also has served as Catholic chaplain at the H. Roe Bartle Camp.
Receiving the St. John Baptist de la Salle Emblem were:
Gail Lavenburg, St. James Parish in Liberty. Lavenburg has been instrumental in providing opportunities for scouts in both Troop 214 and Troop 274 to earn their religious emblems.
Homer Radford, St. John Francis Regis Parish in Kansas City. Radford has given three decades of service to Scouting, including services as chairman of the Catholic Committee on Scouting.