2015 Awards Mass

MIAMI | Ronald Geis, Jr., 17, and his brother Matthew, 15, both graduated from St. Mark School in Southwest Ranches. Both now attend Archbishop Edward McCarthy High School next door. On May 23, they both received Pope Pius XII Catholic Boy Scout awards.

“We had to complete a ministries and vocation program which dealt with different life choices such as single, married, religious or ordained occupations and ministries in the Church as a call from God,” said Ronald after the annual Catholic scouting awards presentation Mass at St. Mary Cathedral.

The Geis brothers and five other Boy Scouts received the top award given out at this year’s ceremony.

Pope Pius XII award recipients had to obtain several other age-appropriate awards before receiving the final one. Only one award ranks above the Pope Pius XII award in Archdiocese of Miami scouting: the Archbishop McCarthy award.

“It’s rarely given,” said Barry Ekle, chairman of the archdiocesan Committee on Scouting. “A Scout receives the award maybe once every five years. The program involves community service, an area that Archbishop McCarthy was very much focused on. Scouts put their faith into action completing service projects relating to the social issues important to them.”

Ekle, 57, recalled receiving the Ad Altare Dei medal from Archbishop Coleman Carroll in the mid-1970s, and the Pope Pius XII medal from Archbishop Edward McCarthy in 1977. He said that working for Catholic scouting medals teaches kids to put their faith into action.

“It’s a mind-opening experience,” he said.

Brownies, Cub Scouts, Junior, Cadette and senior Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers and a couple of Eagle Scouts stepped up to the altar to receive awards they had earned.

Among the awards given out, besides the Pope Pius XII, were Mother Mary, Light of Christ; I Live My Faith; Parvuli Dei; My Faith and Promise; and Ad Altare Dei. Scouts came from as far as San Pablo Church in Marathon, in the middle Keys.

In addition to the Scouts, several adults received awards for their contributions to Catholic scouting.

The Scouts also received a patch which Girl Scout Samantha Romero, from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Doral, designed. Called Navigating the Water, the patch echoes the theme of this year’s Scout retreat. It represents Jesus inviting Peter to walk on the water with him.

In his homily, Archbishop Thomas Wenski said that Catholic scouting is an effective way to help Catholic youths to do their duty to God and their country.

“Catholic scouting programs provide a wonderful channel to involve youth in the life of Catholic parishes,” he said. “Today, we single out many of our Scouts for special recognition, but in doing so we also must remember that when one Scout is honored, all Scouts are honored, for the credit belongs to all.”

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Dinner for Archdiocese of Miami Catholic Committee on Scouting

Archdiocesean Catholic Committee on Scouting Chairman AJ Naranjo, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Boy Scout Council President Robert Morrison, Boy Scout Council Executive John Anthony.

By Mr. Barry Ekle, Host Committee

The Archdiocese of Miami’s Catholic Committee on Scouting recently sponsored a Scouting recruitment dinner at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens. The dinner was hosted by the South Florida Council of the Boy Scouts in conjunction with the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida and Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida. Speaking at the dinner was Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, Committee Chaplain Deacon Emilio Blanco, Committee Chair AJ Naranjo, South Florida Council President Robert Morrison, Girl Scout Gold & Venturing Silver Scout Rebecca Schultz, and Eagle Scout Marcos Mirabent.

The attendees of the dinner where specifically chosen from the 25 parishes in the Archdiocese that have or are affiliated with schools and do not have any Scouting presence. The goal for the dinner was to raise awareness among these schools and parishes of the value that Scouting can provide for them and for their youth. In addition to the pastors and principals, representatives of several local Knights of Columbus Councils and Assemblies were also present at the dinner.

A group of Scouts from all 3 Scout councils opened the dinner with the presentation of the Colors, Pledge of Allegiance, Girl Scout, and Boy Scout Oaths. They concluded their opening by leading those assembled in a round of God Bless America.

His Excellency, Archbishop Wenski, spoke of his ties to South Florida. Although recently installed this past year as the Archbishop of Miami, he was born and raised in Southern Florida and had been ordained in Miami.

The Archbishop spoke about the need of providing today’s youth a safe environment where they have the opportunity to interact with their peers. As our society has become more and more technologically advanced, our youth are driven to physical isolation from others as they retreat into a world becoming more virtual by the day. By having our youth involved in the Scouting program, they are given the opportunity not to just end the physical isolation, but also to give of themselves through projects and taking on leadership roles. Once they begin giving of themselves, they in turn grow and learn how to become productive members of society. He went on to explain that by having Scouting active in their parish or school, they bring the youth closer to the Church and vice versa. He concluded by reminding all of the synergies of the values of the Church and those of Scouting.

Committee Chaplain Blanco spoke of the added value that the Catholic Committee on Scouting brings to units sponsored by Catholic organizations. Specifically, how the religious emblems programs offer Scouts the opportunity to grow in their faith through Scouting’s emphasis on meeting our Duty to God. He also addressed the tremendous opportunity that parishes and schools have by engaging in a partnership with Scouting. He has seen firsthand the fruition of the partnership by the immigrant parents of Scouts becoming members of and active in the Church as a direct result of their Scouts participation in parish sponsored Troops. He stressed the importance of not just having a Scout unit, but that the key to long term success was to be actively involved with the unit – mainly so that the Scouts do projects to benefit their sponsor, thereby getting more active.

The two young adults who spoke were shining examples of the value that Catholic Scouting adds to their Scouting experiences.

Girl Scout & Sea Scout Rebecca Schultz spoke of the leadership opportunities that Scouting provided her, and that how by doing her progressively involved service projects, she became better suited to meet life’s challenges. Adding the Catholic Scouting religious emblems to the Scouting program gave her the chance to do projects that caused her to focus her faith in a Scouting context. Eagle Scout Marcos Mirabent spoke of his Scouting experience that began as a Tiger at St. Patrick’s parish in Miami Beach, where he later served for many years as an alter server, and earning Catholic Scouting Emblems. He also had the opportunity to give back by helping the Catholic Committee staff Days of Recollection, Retreats, and Awards Masses. Marcos planned and executed his Eagle Scout service project for his school, Monsignor Edward Pace High School.

The evening was concluded by Council President Robert Morrison presenting his Excellency with an Eagle bust inscribed with the Scout Oath, followed by Committee Chairman AJ Naranjo encouraging the formation of Scouting units and to reach out to the members of the Archdiocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting for any further assistance.

Scouts reviewing Catholic Scouting material, including Awards, Emblems, workbooks, and service projects.


Scouts from the three Scout Councils within the boundries of the Archdiocese conducting the opening


Archbishop Thomas Wenski during his talk on the value of Scouting.


His Excellency Archbishop Thomas Wenski with Rebecca Schultz (recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award


Eagle Scout Marcos Mirabent relating the benefit that Catholic Scouting had on him.



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Catholic Scouts honor Bishop Estevez

Reposted from the Archdiocese of Miami website

Catholic Scouts honor Bishop Estevez

Thursday, May 26, 2011
Florida Catholic staff – Florida Catholic
COURTESY PHOTO Pictured left to right: Vicente Balseiro-Commander Knight of Columbus, Assembly # 1819 Cardenal Manuel Arteaga,Deacon Emilio Blanco MD, Chaplain Catholic Committee on Scouting,Most Reverent Bishop Felipe J. Estevez,Marcos Mirabent Eagle Scout, 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus Jorge Mirabent Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus St. Joseph’s Church

On May 22 during Bishop Felipe Estevez’s Farewell Mass at St John Vianney College Seminary, the Bishop was recognized by the Catholic Committee on Scouting for his long time support of the Catholic Scouting program in South Florida.


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