Bishop Estevez Presents Scout Awards
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight……..
The Boy Scout Oath
The above oath has been recited countless times since Robert Baden-Powell
started the Boy Scouts in England in 1907. A similar promise has been made
by the girls after Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low started the Girl Scouts in
Georgia in 1912. An important part of the pledge is “duty to God”.
All members of the Boy and Girl Scouts in the United States are given the
opportunity to demonstrate their reverence to God by completing a structured
religious program culminating in the presentation of an award to the Scout.
On March 11, at Prince of Peace Church in Jacksonville, many local members of
the Boy and Girl Scouts were honored for their commitment to their Roman
Catholic faith in a ceremony conducted by Bishop Felipe J. Estevez, Bishop
of the Diocese of St Augustine.
Bishop Estevez, along with the Reverend James Boddie of St Catherine of Siena
and Deacon Larry Peterson presided at the Bishop’s Scout Recognition
Ceremony in which over 100 Boy and Girl Scouts received religious medals to
include the Light of Christ, Family of God, Parvuli Dei, I Live My Faith, Ad
Altare Dei, Mary the First Disciple, and Pope Pius XI awards.
Parents, family members and friends packed the Church to capacity as the
ceremony opened when a Scout Color Guard staffed by Boy Scouts Christopher
Flemming, Timothy Ziemathis, Nicholas Martens, and Patrick Martens walked
down the center aisle. The entire Congregation then stood for a heartwarming
communal recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following a reading focusing on “For God is the one who, for his good
purpose, works in you both to desire and to work” and a reading of the
Gospel with the theme “your light must shine before others, that they may
see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly father” , Bishop Estevez
preached a homily reflecting on the hard work the Scouts had to complete to
receive the awards and applauded them for their dedication and commitment and
encouraged the Scouts to continue to lead by example.
Following the blessing of the medals by Bishop Estevez, the names of each
award recipient was read aloud from the podium and each Scout came to the
altar to personally receive the award from the Bishop. An encouraging smile
and congratulatory handshake greeted each Scout. Flash cameras popped around
the Church as each scout was recognized by the Bishop.
Special recognition was also made for several adult Scout community leaders.
Linda Byer of Holy Spirit and Ronald Spitznagel of St Augustine received the
Bronze Pelican Award and Patricia Hetzer-Coots of St Catherine of Siena and
Wilson Augusto Lindawan of St Joseph received the St. George award.
Following the awards, the Knights of Columbus Holy Trinity Assembly #2368
hosted a reception for the Scouts and their families.