Three Boy Scouts and a deacon were honored with religious emblems at a ceremony June 7 at St. Bridget Catholic Church, River Falls.
Shawn Derks, 11, and Darin Derks, 11, achieved their Parvuli Dei medals. Mitchell Wolf, 15, earned his Ad Altare Dei medal, and Deacon Larry Hennemann, who serves St. Bridget, was awarded the Bronze Pelican for his work as a camp chaplain.
The religious emblem program has been in existence since the 1930s, according to Dr. George Battis, chair of the Twin Cities’ Archdiocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting. Cub Scouts ages 6-7 can earn the Light of Christ, designed to help them develop a closer relationship with Jesus; ages 8-10 can achieve the Parvuli Dei by exploring the presence of God in their lives as members of a family and parish.
The Ad Altare Dei is for Boy Scouts, ages 13-14, and involves a more in-depth study of the sacraments as a means of spiritual growth. Another medal, the Pope Pius XII, is for older Boy Scouts delving into vocations.
“All of the programs stress involvement and development of their faith along with religious service opportunities,” Battis explained. “All of these awards have significant study as a part of the process. There is at the end of each program a board of review to assess the quality of the program and development of the youth.”
Deacon Hennemann’s Bronze Pelican recognizes his significant contribution to youths at the diocesan level, Battis said.
Troops wanting to participate in the programs can locate their local archdiocese committee for information, www.nccs-bsa.org.