For The Catholic Messenger
The Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting is offering two programs for Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members interested in earning the Ad Altare Dei religious emblem.
Ad Altare Dei (“to the altar of God”) is a program designed to help Catholic scouts learn more about their faith through a study of the seven sacraments and how these sacraments can help them grow spiritually.
During the sessions, scouts participate in prayer, discussion and activities as outlined in the Ad Altare Dei workbook. The program helps scouts reflect upon how the sacraments are applicable to their daily lives through writing and other activities, service projects and prayer. The program also reminds scouts of the importance of faith in everyday life. Furthermore, the program underlines the basis of the Catholic faith and helps all participating to fulfill their duty to God, as required of all scouts.
Eligible participants must be registered members of Boy Scouts or Venture Crew members who have been baptized in the Catholic faith and have been active members of their units for a minimum of six months. This religious emblem is designed for scouts 13-14 years old who have completed sixth grade. Older Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members may earn this emblem up until age 18.
Sessions have begun in Bettendorf; for more information contact Denise McMonagle at firstname.lastname@example.org .
A second Ad Altare Dei program will begin Sept. 13 at St. Thomas More Church in Coralville from 1:30-3 p.m. Parents and guardians are also invited to attend this first meeting with their scouts. For more information, or to register, contact Jim Pitcher at email@example.com. Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members are encouraged to sign up in advance, though all are welcome.
For both groups of scouts participating in the program, a final retreat will be held Nov. 20-21. Further details will be announced at a later date.
Participants need to purchase a $5.99 workbook available at scout shops or at their first meeting. The workbook contains chapters on the seven sacraments as a means of spiritual growth.
In 2014 and 2015, more than 35 Boy Scouts in the diocese received the Ad Altare Dei emblem. The Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting hopes many more scouts will be able to participate in Ad Altare Dei and all other religious emblem programs. These include programs for Catholic Boy Scouts and Camp Fire and Girl Scouts who are eager to further explore and grow in their faith. Adult leaders interested in training to help counsel these religious emblem programs should contact Pitcher.