FREDERICK — Scouting and faith were celebrated at the annual Archdiocesan Scout Mass and Presentation of Awards March 1. Boy Scouts from troops across the archdiocese were invited to St. Katharine Drexel Church to receive religious awards earned in the past year.
Father Tyler Kline, associate pastor of Church of the Resurrection and St. Paul Church in Ellicott City, celebrated the Mass for the first time as chaplain for the archdiocese’s Catholic Committee on Scouting. He picks up the role from Monsignor Thomas Phillips of St. Gabriel Church in Woodlawn, now chaplain emeritus.
“When I was a Scout, Monsignor Phillips signed my religious award,” said Father Kline, who attended St. Philip Neri School in Linthicum Heights. “It’s a great opportunity to recognize his dedication to this program. It’s also an opportunity for the Scouts to gather together and be honored by the archdiocese and the Scouting family for their achievements.”
Introducing Monsignor Phillips, Father Kline read a letter of appreciation from Archbishop William E. Lori, commending the pastor for his service to the archdiocese’s Boy Scouts over the last 27 years.
“The lasting impact of his legacy is truly immeasurable,” Archbishop Lori wrote.
“Scouting has been a strong part of my life,” Monsignor Phillips said, who was a member of Troop 746 at St. Joseph in Fullerton when he was growing up. “I’ve been a Scout since I was a Cub Scout. I appreciate all that Scouting has done for me. It prepared me for my life and for my religious vocation.”
Monsignor Phillips said his work with Scouting was supported by Susan Smith, Pat Ashby and Melissa Haigley of the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Office, and by Catholic Committee on Scouting Chairman Dennis Kast and Deacon George Krause of St. Paul in Ellicott City. Former St. Gabriel secretary Cathy DiPaula processed Scout award applications, which this year produced 162 honorees.
Craig Gould, archdiocesan director of the Division for Youth and Young Adult Ministries, said the direct connection through Scouting with the youth of the archdiocese is important.
“Ministry to our young people is done in a lot of different ways,” he said. “Scouting is a unique approach to ministry to our young people and their families.”
The gathering included a commemorative patch honoring St. Katharine Drexel, whose feast day is March 3. The Frederick County parish’s pastor, Father Keith Boisvert, concelebrated Mass with Father Kline and Monsignor Phillips.
The host parish sponsors Boy Scout Troop 48, where members Barbara Vaudreuil and Timothy Sutterman see their achievements as ways to further their Catholic faith through Sscouting. Sutterman is the son of Deacon Jeff Sutterman, Troop 48 committe chairman.
“It’s something cool to have the Catholic faith unit in Scouting,” the younger Sutterman said. “This Mass was a way for all of us Catholic Scouts to be together.”
“It’s amazing that everybody comes together and (is) able to acknowledge your religion,” said Vaudreuil, among the first group of girls to join the BSA. “I love it. I find it brings me a lot closer to my faith.”
Deacon Sutterman said his troop and parish were honored to be able to host the annual Scouting Mass.
“It was quite the pleasure to be asked to host the archdiocesan event,” he said. “We have found that Scouting is a natural way to do evangelization with the young adult group.”