Scouts cited for commitment with religious emblems

From left to right, Eagle Scout Rev. Nathan March received the St. George Award, Christopher Santiago received the Bronze Pelican, his son Christopher Santiago received the Parvuli Dei medal, Jamie Santiago, of Vassalboro, who is active in the Scouting program, and Eagle Scout Jeffrey Lewis, who serves as the Deacon for St. Michael Parish. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Three religious emblems were presented by the Portland Diocese’s Catholic Committee on Scouting during the Sunday Mass, November 26, at St. Augustine Church, in Augusta, including the St. George Award which was presented to Father Nathan March who is an Eagle Scout as well as being Pastor of St. Michael Parish.

Nationally, there are 97,651 Scouts who follow the Roman Catholic faith and 39,535 Catholics who serve as Scouting leaders. Scott Valcourt, of Gray, is the chairman of the Catholic Committee on Scouting, attended the 10:30 a.m. Mass where the awards were presented, and from the lectern said, “This is the first time that I am aware of where a father and son were both receiving awards on the same day.”

Christopher Santiago, of Vassalboro, is a member of Cub Scout Pack #410 and is also an altar server for St. Michael Parish. He wore his Scout uniform while serving at Mass on Sunday and received his Parvuli Dei Religious Emblem. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

Christopher Santiago is a member of the Knights of Columbus and is a leader in Vassalboro Pack and Troop #410, serves on the Kennebec Valley District Scouting Committee and is a member of the Duty to God Committee. He received the Bronze Pelican Award. His son, also Christopher, completed all requirements for the Parvuli Dei medal. The purpose of the Parvuli Dei (Children of God) emblem program is to help Cub Scouts explore a wide range of activities in order to discover the presence of God in their daily lives as members of their families and parishes, and also to develop a good, positive self-image through the contributions they can make to their family, pack and community.

Christopher Santiago, of Vassalboro, is a leader of Cub Scout Pack #410, Troop #410, and the Kennebec Valley District of Scouting. He is also a lector for St. Michael’s parish and wore his Scout uniform in honor of his son receiving his religious emblem. He was surprised when he was presented with the Bronze Pelican for his efforts to remind Scouts of their “Duty to God” and the last point of the Scout Law- “A Scout is Reverent.” (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

The Bronze Pelican Emblem is a Diocesan recognition presented to any adult who has made a significant contribution to Scouting in the field of Catholic relationships by encouraging the spiritual development of youth members. “Today our little family was blessed to be surrounded by family, friends, Brother Knights of Columbus, and fellow Scouters as Christopher was awarded his Parvuli Dei Award,” his father said, “and it was a surprise for me when they presented me with the Bronze Pelican.”

The St. George Emblem is presented to members of the laity and clergy, Scouters and non-Scouters alike, who have made significant and outstanding contributions to the spiritual development of Catholic youth in Scouting. “St. George is the patron Saint of Scouting,” Valcourt said and highlighted the Scouting history of Father Nathan March who was a youth Scout, worked at Camp Hinds, and earned his Eagle Scout rank. “He has presided over many religious services at Scout functions and has worked with many Scouts to assist them to earn their religious emblems.”

Father March said he was taken by surprise and thought the award was going to be presented to Deacon Jeffrey Lewis who is also an Eagle Scout. “As Scott was reading all of the accomplishments of the recipient, I was thinking, ‘Wow, I have a lot in common with Deacon Jeff.'”

Father March praised the Scouting program and reminded the congregation of the words of Robert Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting, “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best.”






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