From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Sacraments could be an easy match for Scouting retreat

by Father Terence Tully, for the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 4, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

“The Seven Sacraments” could be the theme of the 2002 Scout Retreat.

This suggestion was made at a recent meeting of the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, and I find it more appealing the more I think about it.

The sacraments are actions of Jesus Christ. When a priest baptizes, absolves, or anoints; when a bishop confirms or ordains; when a Catholic man and a Catholic woman confer the sacrament of marriage on one another — it is Christ who really does the sacrament in every case, even though the visible sacramental minister acts in Christ’s name.

The sacraments are also a mark of the Catholic Church insofar as many other Christian denominations teach that Christ instituted only two sacraments, Baptism and Eucharist.

But the best reason for the Seven Sacraments to serve as a retreat theme is that the program of the Ad Altare Dei, which is based on the Seven Sacraments. The program has eight chapters, one for each sacrament individually and one for the sacraments in general.

All the way through the program every sacramental sign is introduced by its parallels in the boy’s life as a growing child or as a Scout climbing the trail to Eagle rank.

The Scout finds the roots of each sacrament in the Bible. He experiences, if possible, the liturgy which delivers the sacrament and learns the specific grace given by each sacrament. By coincidence I was summoned to do the anointing of the sick person when I was counseling two Scouts about this sacrament. I took them to the home of the sick person and had them band the oil container to me and voice responses to the prayers.

Another Scout told me that Scouting helped him become reconciled to another boy he had fought with, and the two are now best friends. The matter came up when we studied the sacrament of reconciliation and the need for us to be forgiving in imitation of our forgiving Lord.

A retreat on the sacraments might even include one or another sacrament being received by a Cub Scout, Boy Scout or Venturer, if there is need and there is approval of pastor, bishop, and parents.

Scouting and world peace

Scouting ‘Round the World, a 160-page book published by World Organization of the Scout Movement, reports that more than 16 million youth and adults are members of Scouting in 150 countries and territories. Pray that these peace Scouts may reconcile hostile groups and reduce poverty and hunger which continually threaten world peace.

Coming event

  • Bishop’s Recognition Day, Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, 1115 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane. Sunday, Feb. 10, 2002, 2 p.m. Bishop Skylstad will confer religious emblems on Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Camp Fire Boys and Girls.

    For information on the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting and its activities, contact Father Terence Tully, diocesan Scout chaplain, 221 E. Rockwood Blvd., Apt. 308, Spokane, WA 99202-1200, phone (509) 458-7674; or James Burgen, acting chairperson, Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, 3303 W. 8th Ave., Spokane, WA 99204; pager phone (509) 880-5498. Click here for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting’s web site!

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