Our Ministry is to bring the message of Jesus Christ to youth and adults involved in Scouting through faith formation programs and retreats. We reach beyond just those in Scouting and offer some of our programs to all youth! (More...).

Concerns of the Catholic Youth Apostolate Regarding Girl Scouts of USA

Scouting and the Church's Mission

Ministering to the youth is a vital aspect of the Archdiocese of Saint Louisí mission. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, including scouting programs for boys and girls.
Over the past three years, some issues and concerns have surfaced surrounding Girl Scouts USA and their relationship with World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, their international umbrella organization. The following letter, addressed to the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, was released by the Catholic Youth Apostolate in order to provide more information on this topic.
For more information, please contact Fr. Brian Fischer at 314.792.7602.

Ministering to the youth is a vital aspect of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis' mission. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, including scouting programs for boys and girls.

Over the past three years, some issues and concerns have surfaced surrounding Girl Scouts of USA and their relationship with World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, their international umbrella organization. The following letter, addressed to the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, was released by the Catholic Youth Apostolate in order to provide more information on this topic.

For more information, please contact Fr. Brian Fischer by phone at 314.792.7602 or by email.

Letter From the Catholic Youth Apostolate

November 11, 2014

 

Dear priests and faithful of the Archdiocese, 

Peace be with you! 

For the past three years, the Catholic Youth Apostolate, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri (GSEM) and concerned parents have been in dialogue to confront the many issues and concerns surrounding Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) and their relationship with the international umbrella organization, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). 

In addition, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been in dialogue on a national level with GSUSA. As a result of those meetings, the USCCB issued a Question and Answer statement. It can be found here on the USCCB website. 

As Bishop Rice also stated in a letter addressed to all priests in June, the Girl Scout program has enjoyed a long history of cooperation with our Catholic parishes. On that note, the Catholic Youth Apostolate commends the service of the dedicated Girl Scout troop leaders who have volunteered their time and effort with the very best intentions and motivations to provide a program that helps our Catholic girls grow in leadership and character. 

However, GSUSA is a secular organization, and as such does not fully promote the teachings of the Catholic Church. Secular organizations are prone to move with the culture and trends of the world, which are certainly not always in line with the 2,000 year history and tradition of the Catholic Church. 

I wanted to highlight just a few of the concerns that have surfaced. (This list is not exhaustive by any means): 

  • WAGGGS supports and promotes "sexual and reproductive health and rights," and in many of their materials promotes artificial contraception and abortion. 
  • GSUSA pays in excess of $1,000,000 each year as membership dues to WAGGGS. This total is based on the total number of girls registered as members in GSUSA. The funds come from investments income. However, by having girls in our parishes as registered Girl Scouts, more money goes to WAGGGS. Many of the programs WAGGGS offers do not support Catholic teaching and tradition. 
  • "World Thinking Day" is an optional program within Girl Scouts that has a fundraising component for WAGGGS within it. 
  • Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem are frequently presented as role models in Girl Scout materials. They promote and teach a worldview that is contrary to Catholic tradition. 
  • The Journeys series (GSUSA's manuals) contain many other role models and organizations that promote views contrary to Church teaching as well. Some of these were removed after we raised concerns, but certainly not all. 
  • It seems counterproductive to me that we need to be so vigilant in identifying problematic areas within GSUSA material. If we are using a program to help shape and form our girls into faithful women of God, shouldn't we offer and promote solid programs that help enrich their faith life? 

    Quoting Bishop Rice's letter to the priests again, he said, 

    The Office of Catholic Scouting states that 'Our Ministry is to bring the message of Jesus Christ to youth and adults involved in scouting through faith formation programs and retreats...' Since parents are the 'first teachers of their children in the ways of faith' (Baptism Ritual), we must do our best to offer programs that support parents as they fulfill their mission. To that end, there are two additional resources to assist in the faith formation of girls, the American Heritage Girls (Christian) and Little Flowers Girls Club (Catholic). I encourage you to familiarize yourself with these viable scouting options for girls.

    I encourage anyone interested in finding out more about these two groups to visit their websites: 

  • American Heritage Girls: www.ahgonline.org 
  • Little Flower Girls Club: www.beholdpublications.com/LFGC_home.htm 
  • I am pleased to say that we are in the process of forming a committee to support these groups within our Catholic Scouting Ministry office for the whole Archdiocese. In addition, all of the Catholic formation programs and retreats offered by the Catholic Youth Apostolate will continue to be open to any and all girls seeking to grow in their knowledge and love of the Catholic faith. 

    Our long history with the Girl Scouts does not make this an easy issue to address; however the culture is changing. Our faith can oftentimes set us apart from what is popular and trending in the world, so here we begin to feel that pull. While secular programs feel they must change with the culture to survive, Jesus calls us to stand in the truth. 

    Please meet with your pastor if you would like to establish one of the recommended faith based groups in your parish. I also encourage you to engage in the many faith formation programs and retreats we offer through the Catholic Scouting Ministry office, so together we can help shape and form our girls into faithful women of God. 

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. We in the Catholic Youth Apostolate are here to serve you. 

     

    Yours in Christ, 

    Father Brian Fischer
    Executive Director 
    Catholic Youth Apostolate

    Day of Recollection

    Catholic Scouting Image
    Come join us for a day of adventure, faith building, games, fun, food, and Mass. We run two separate programs: grade school and high school youth. Families are invited to join us at the closing Mass at 5 PM. This retreat is open to all scouts and ideal for scouts working on Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII programs.
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    WHO: All Boy and Venture Scouts. (Parents and Leaders are welcome)

    WHEN: Saturday, December 6, 2014

    Check in 10:30-11:00 am

    Program from 11:00-4:00

    Mass 4:00 pm (Families welcome to join)

    WHERE: Kenrick Glennon Seminary- click on the link below for a map https://www.google.com/maps/place/Kenrick+Glennon+Seminary/@38.585204,-90.32404,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x253d85dfa46b3e38

    To Register go to http://www.catholicscoutingstl.org/register

    See the attached file for a printable registration form!

    Day and Evening of Discipleship 2014

    A day of celebrating, faith sharing, fun and friends! Required for all girls that completed the Mary, First Disciple Faith Formation Award Program. Bring your workbook and all project related materials! Have you contacted the OCS about your attendance? Please RSVP @792-7613 or jennifertrousdale@archstl.org The Office of Catholic Scouting offers two sessions- Day and Evening of Discipleship. The evening is only offered for those who are not able to attend the Day of Discipleship.
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    Day of Discipleship

    Date: November 15, 2014
    Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
    Place: Cardinal Rigali Center-Fleur de Lis Room and Chapel

    Girls: Be sure to bring your workbook and all project related materials!

    Parents and Moderators...You are invited to the Day of Discipleship!

    We begin with a prayer service in the chapel with the girls and immediately following there will be light refreshments served.

    The girls will gather together and begin their seperate program.  

    For parents and moderators, we will have a special gathering just for you! Come join us!  We look forward to meeting you and hearing about your experience with the girls.
     

    For more information see the attached letter!

    Evening of Discipleship

    Date: November 20, 2014
    Time:  7:00pm-9:00pm
    Place: Cardinal Rigali Center - Fleur de Lis Room and Chapel

    Girls: Be sure to bring your workbook and all project related materials!

    We begin with a prayer service in the chapel with the girls and immediately following there will be light refreshments served.

    The girls will gather together and begin their separate program.  

    For parents and moderators, we will have a special gathering just for you! Come join us!  We look forward to meeting you and hearing about your experience with the girls.

    Scout Sunday Prayer Service

    Catholic Scouting Image
    105 Years of Youth Ministry -"A Scout is Reverent" - The Scout Sunday Prayer service will be held on February 1, 2015, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in the Central West End. The Prayer service is where many of the Catholic unit awards and other faith formation awards for the scouts are presented.
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    *Scout Sunday Prayer Service at the Cathedral

    Date: February 1, 2015 – 2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m. (Arrive no later than 2:00 p.m.!)

    Place: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (on Lindell Blvd.)

    All of the AdAltare Dei and Pope Pius XII awards are presented at the Cathedral Basilica. The requirements must be completed and  the application received in the Office of Catholic Scouting Ministry no later than January 15 of each year.

    What awards are presented at the Cathedral?

    All Scouts who have earned the Ad Altare Dei and the Pope Pius XII awards will be presented at the Cathedral. The Archbishops unit award, Chaplians unit award, the National Quality unit award along with the adult St. George award will be presented at the Cathedral.

    How can we have Parvuli Dei Parish Representatives at the Cathedral?

    **We do offer to all parishes on a first come first serve basis to have parish representative for the Parvuli Dei awards. We accept a total of 50 youth Diocesan wide earning the Parvuli Dei award to be a Representative. Contact the office of Scouting Ministry with the estimated number of Scouts and the parish name. Applications are due for this group of scouts (presented at the Cathedral) on December 1 of every year.

    All Scouts who have earned the Light of Christ and the Parvuli Dei awards are presented in the local parishes. **With the exception of Parvuli Dei Parish Representatives.

    Why is Scout Sunday Celebrate on different dates?

     * Some parishes celebrate Scout Sunday on the actual anniversary and some celebrate in other months. Some times its a matter of scheduleing and other events going on in the parishes.  There is no right or wrong time, just celebrate Scout Sunday in your parish!

    Scout Sunday Bulletin Covers for your local Parish

    If you are interested in having a Scout Sunday cover for your local parish bulletin, please contact your pastor to get permission. The person that edits the bulletin can then choose the cover by going to the company that produces the bulletins for your parish. Some parishes celebrate Scout Sunday on the actual anniversary and some celebrate the anniversary in other months. There is no right or wrong way, just celebrate Scout Sunday!  

    Currently the two companies that service the St. Louis Archdioces.

    J.S. Paluch.Co., Inc.www.PaluchPartners.com 

    Liturgical Publications, Incwww.4LPi.com

    Liturgical Publications Inc is pleased to make available for all parishes complimentary bulletin cover art for Scout Sunday, February 8, 2015, in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The cover art is available in full-color or in black-and-white. Any parish can use the commemorative cover, even if LPi is not your current bulletin publisher. The cover is available on LPi’s Art & Media Portal at www.Portal.4LPi.com. Current customers should log in as usual. If you are not an LPi customer, enter promo code “SCOUTS15” in the “Have a promo code?” field and click Redeem. Complete the remainder of the fields and click Submit to receive complimentary access to all of LPi’s clip art and reflections for 30 days. To quickly find the Scout Sunday covers, all you will have to do is enter the keyword “St. Louis” in the search bar on the upper left-hand side of the Web page. If you have questions about Portal, or have difficulty registering, please contact Lynne Buell at (800) 950-9952, ext. 2549, or e-mail her at LBuell@4LPi.com.

      

    St. George Trek 2015

    The St. George Trek, sponsored by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, is a biennial high adventure Catholic leadership program at Philmont Scout Ranch located in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains in Cimarron, New Mexico.

    July 8 - July 23, 2015

    The St. George Trek, sponsored by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, is a biennial high adventure Catholic leadership program at Philmont Scout Ranch located in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains in Cimarron, New Mexico.  Only selected Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members get to attend the national two-week faith-filled hiking adventure, as each diocese in the United States is allowed to send only two participants each.  This year, Thomas was the only participant from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and was sponsored in full by the generosity of a Catholic Committee on Scouting member.  For the next Trek in 2015, the NCCS has already granted the Archdiocese of St. Louis two full-ride scholarships for our selected participants!  If you know of anyone that would be interested in attending in 2015, have them contact the Office of Catholic Scouting.

     Attached bellow is the application for the 2015 St. George Trek.

    Here is Thomas Hogan's full story in the St. Louis Review>>> Witnessing the 'Grandeur of God'.

    Check out the National Catholic Commite on Scouting webpage for more information on the trek.

    Trained Moderators please read!

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    Important information for after you have been trained!

    Trained Moderators please read!

    New this year!!!!

    Please register each girl that is working on the MFD program by clicking on the following secure link.

    Register your girls here: http://ocs.llwebdev.com/NewRegistrant.php

    This information will be used to send communications, generating certificates, name tags and for the program booklet at the prayer service on Presentation Sunday at the Cathedral.

    Light of Christ Fatih Formation Award Program

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    Be the "Light of Christ" to a young person in Scoting today!

    Promote the Faith Formation Award Program to a Den, Pack or a group of Parents! 

    Did you earn the Light of Christ when you were a Cub Scout?

     If so, help someone else by promoting the award program in your parish!  

    Want to know more?

    http://www.catholicscoutingstl.org/awards/family-god-medal-and-project-book

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