‘Duty to God’ at center of Baltimore Archdiocese annual Scout Mass

By Kit Cross
Special to the Review
SEVERNA PARK – A Scout is reverent.
For 15-year-old Grayson Phillips, that point of the Scout law encompasses why Scouting is important to him.
“The most important thing to me is duty to God,” Phillips said. “That’s a big part of what today is.”
Phillips is a member of Troop 450, which is sponsored by St. John the Evangelist Parish. He was among approximately 50 Scouts who were honored Feb. 25, when the Severna Park church was host to the 86th annual Archdiocesan Scout Mass.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts took part in nearly every aspect of the Mass from a color guard presentation of the American and Scout flags, to lectoring and cantoring, and singing in the St. John the Evangelist children’s choirs.

Tiger Cub Scout Nolan Dilaimy of Pack 450 rejoices after receiving the “Light of Christ Award” from Archbishop William E. Lori during the 86th annual Scouts Mass Feb. 25 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Severna Park. (Kit Cross/Special to the Review)

Archbishop William E. Lori presided. Concelebrants include Monsignor John Brady, the chaplain for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting’s Region 4; Monsignor Thomas Phillips, chaplain of the archdiocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting and pastor of St. Gabriel in Woodlawn; and Father Jim Proffitt, pastor of St. John the Evangelist.
After Mass, they presented awards to youths and a handful of adults for the completion of various religious activities and learning about different aspects of the Catholic faith.
Grayson Phillips, who was also an altar server, explained that the patches presented to him were for learning about the rosary.
“Some of the mysteries I wasn’t familiar with before,” said Phillips, a student at Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore. “(Earning the patches) helped me learn how to pray the rosary better.”
As Archbishop Lori noted in his homily, Scouting is about more than earning patches or the skills acquired in doing so.
“Through Scouting you learn to develop moral virtues, to show respect for others, to have good manners and always treat others fairly.”
He told the Scouts doing those things is not always easy because of peer pressure, but encouraged each Scout to remember words of Pope Francis, who said, “Don’t be afraid to swim against the tide.”

Archbishop William E. Lori awards the “Family of God” medal to Avery Davis of Girls Scout Troop 1106. Davis’ troop is chartered by St. John the Evangelist in Severna Park, which hosted the 86th annual Scouts Mass Feb. 25. (Kit Cross/Special to the Review)
Archbishop Lori concluded his homily by challenging each of the boys and girls to be the best Scouts they can be.
“Good Scouts are good citizens, and we certainly need good citizens these days,” he said. “Good Catholic scouts are good and active members of the church.”
While not all Scout troops incorporate religion, Michael Burnett, Troop 450 Scoutmaster, said “The church is an important part of a value- and character-based life.”
He said the nearly six-decade relationship between Troop 450 and St. John the Evangelist Church has allowed for both Catholic and non-Catholic Scouts to learn about the faith.
“I try to make sure that regularly (the kids) hear about the role of God in their lives and how to accept that,” Burnett said.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.