At a Religious Awards Ceremony held recently at St. Mary, Kutztown, Father Eric Tolentino was presented with the St. George Award by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting. The ceremony was hosted by the Allentown Diocese Catholic Committee on Scouting (CCOS). Its main purpose was to recognize Cubs Scouts and Scouts who had earned a Catholic Religious Award in the past 12 months.
Father Tolentino, who presided over the ceremony, was completely unaware that the Allentown Diocese CCOS had petitioned the National CCOS to recognize Father Tolentino for his 15 years of dedicated service to Scouting in our Diocese. Father Tolentino is pastor of Annunciation BVM, Catasauqua.
The National Catholic Committee on Scouting, acting through the local diocese or eparchy, may award the St. George emblem 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 through Scouting.
These contributions may include promoting the religious emblems programs for Catholic youth or serving as a counselor, moderator, or coordinator; encouraging non-Catholic youth to participate in the religious emblems’ programs of their own faith; giving notable service in promoting Catholic activities and service projects for the Church; being willing to serve on committees for those purposes; actively participating in and promoting Scout retreats and days of recollection.
Father Tolentino began his ministry in Scouting by serving as chaplain’s aide in his home Troop 37, Staten Island, N.Y., where he also became an Eagle Scout. He first came to our area when his troop went to summer camp at Camp Shikellamy in Hawk Mountain Council. He later worked on staff there for five seasons.
After becoming a priest in the Diocese of Allentown he was appointed Catholic Scout Chaplain in 2008. Since then, he has been an enthusiastic and inspiring influence on the Allentown Diocese Catholic Committee on Scouting. He has been a key part of their annual Catholic Scout Activity Weekends, celebrating Mass and bringing an Eagle Scout’s perspective to his homilies. He has also been the celebrant at their annual Religious Emblems Awards Ceremony and has substantially improved the liturgy and homilies used there.
He has arranged for our Bishop to celebrate Mass at council-wide jamborees. He is a regular and active attendee at CCOS meetings, and has been closely involved in the relations between the Boy Scouts of America and the Diocese of Allentown.
Scouts Presented with Catholic Religious Awards
Recently Scouts and Cubs from all over the Diocese gathered with their families to receive recognition for earning various Catholic Scout Religious Awards. The ceremony was held by the Allentown Diocese Catholic Committee on Scouting at St. Mary, Kutztown.
The purpose was to recognize Scouts and Cubs who had earned a Catholic Religious Award in the previous 12 months. Father Eric Tolentino, the Catholic Scout Chaplain for the Diocese, presided over the ceremony and presented the awards.
Seven Scouts and one Cub Scout were present, representing a fraction of the 37 boys who had earned an award during the year. Each award consists of a medal to be worn over the left pocket flap of the uniform. Many of the medals were presented throughout the year in their home parishes.
The ceremony included Eucharistic Adoration followed by a Gospel reading and a Scout-centered homily by Father Tolentino, who is an Eagle Scout. The award medals were then blessed and presented.
The Cubs and Scouts were recognized for the following awards:
LIGHT OF CHRIST AWARD
The Light of Christ Award (for Tiger and Wolf Cubs) is to help the Cub Scout develop a personal relationship with Jesus. With the parents’ active assistance and participation in this program, it is hoped that the Cub will come to see Jesus as a real person and as his friend.
St. Ignatius Loyola, Sinking Spring – Charles Fischer, Ben Matlack, Matthew Beitinger, John Reimels, Cole Leppier, Leonidas Fernez; St. Ambrose, Schuylkill Haven – Benjamin Zawisza; St. Nicholas, Walnutport – Peter Geueke; Notre Dame of Bethlehem – Lucas Diaz, Benjamin Soares, Matthew Santana, Aaron Vasquez, Nolan McHenry, Rudy Guzley, Zain Kallouf, Weston Shapple; Annunciation BVM, Catasauqua – Tiernan Paone; St. Joseph, Coopersburg – Daniel Dale.
PARVULI DEI AWARD
The Parvuli Dei (Children of God) program is for Cub Scouts who are age 8 to 10. The purpose of the program is to help young boys and girls explore a wide range of activities to discover the presence of God in their daily lives as members of their families and parishes.
St. Ignatius Loyola, Sinking Spring – Andrew Matlack; St. Ambrose, Schuylkill Haven – Nicholas Zawisza, Joseph Zawisiza; St. Nicholas, Walnutport – Henry Geueke; St. Joseph, Coopersburg – Lucas Dale.
AD ALTARE DEI AWARD
The purpose of the Ad Altare Dei program is to equip the Scout to take his/her place in the world as a maturing Catholic and maturing American with action and knowledge. The Scout is to have some understanding of what it means to be a follower and disciple of Christ. The Scout is to live and apply the Sacraments to his/her life.
St. Columbkill, Boyertown – Brendan Biehl, Nathan Kovach, Caleb Spece; St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, Hellertown – Sean Jebitsch, Kolby Mease; St. Joseph, Coopersburg – Jacob Dale; St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Easton – Nicholas McLean, Oliver Collins.
For more information about earning these awards, go to www.adccos.org.
Photo: From left: front, Kolby M., Jacob D., Brendan B., Nicholas M., Oliver C., Caleb S., Tiernan P.; back, Fred Flemming, Allentown Diocese CCOS chairman; and Father Eric Tolentino, Allentown Diocese Catholic Scout Chaplain.