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Bishop Fisher Features Youth

Scouts receive religious emblems at St. Joseph Cathedral


Scouting is more than campfires and jamborees. There is a religious aspect that can get overlooked, but “duty to God and country” are right there in the Boy Scout oath. Girl Scouts promise to “serve God and my country.”

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and their leaders pose with Bishop Michael W. Fisher at the 49th Annual Religious Awards ceremony at St. Joseph Cathedral on April 1. (Photo by Patrick J. Buechi)

A religious emblems program has been created by various religious groups to encourage youth to grow stronger in their faith. The Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the United States of America have approved these programs and allow the recognition to be worn on the official uniform.

On April 1, local troops celebrated the completion of religious programs by receiving their religious emblems at a special service at St. Joseph Cathedral. The Ad Altare Dei, Pope Pius XII, Bishop’s Award on Scouting, along with the Girl Scout’s Spirit Alive emblems were handed out to two dozen young people.

Bishop Michael W. Fisher, who rose to the rank of Eagle Scout himself, welcomed the scouts from all across the diocese.

Members of the Boy Scouts of America led the procession at the beginning of the 49th Annual Religious Awards ceremony. (Photo by Patrick J. Buechi)

“I know for a fact, because I’ve done it, that these are very difficult awards. The requirements for them are a great accomplishment,” he said.

Bishop Fisher also was presented with the Bronze Pelican Award, which recognizes clergy and lay adults who contribute directly to the spiritual nourishment of Catholic scouts.

“I don’t know what I did to earn the Bronze Pelican, but I can say anything that comes from the Scouts is a great honor, and I hold that deep to my heart,” he said.

Ursula Eddy, from St. Stephen Parish on Grand Island, received the Saint George Emblem for her outstanding contributions to the spiritual development of Catholic scouts, while David Rodas, from St. Gregory the Great Parish in Williamsville, received the Reverend Monsignor S.J. Sierakowski Award for his dedicated service to the Buffalo Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting. Troop 400 from SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Hamburg, accepted the Pope Paul VI National Catholic Unit Excellence Award.

Allie Fuszara, from Troop 30808, was the only Girl Scout present at the ceremony. She received the Spirit Alive emblem and the Bishop’s Scouting Award.

“It felt really good because I was the only girl here to do it,” she said.

She has been active in scouting for 11 years now, joining in kindergarten. She stayed with it, “to show how any girl can do what a guy does. I love going camping with my troop. We do a ton of activities. I love selling cookies.”

Jason Rudnicki, from Troop 400, took home the Pope Pius XII emblem having completed the program that helps develop a fully Christian way of life in young scouts.

Bishop Michael W. Fisher, along with Deacon Daniel Golinski, presents Religious Emblem Awards to one of two dozen Scouts he met at at St. Joseph Cathedral on April 1. (Photo by Patrick J. Buechi)

“It feels nice. It’s nice to be recognized and meet the bishop. It’s a good experience,” he said.

He’s been involved since first grade.

“(I) thought it would be cool to experience, and make friends, meet people to do outdoor stuff. I just stuck with it ever since. It’s been good experience. I started doing religious awards when I was in Cub Scouts and I just stuck with that too,” he said of his dedication to scouting.

In his closing remarks, Bishop Fisher called the kids an inspiration. He also mentioned that his own time with the Scouts provided him with a moral compass, and will give this group a “better grasp of our Catholic faith, which will help them continue to grow into contributing members of our society and our Church.”

At the service, it was announced that Bishop Fisher is the newly appointed liaison for scouting for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Spirit Alive

Allie Fuszara, St. Mary, Swormville

Ad Altare Dei

Troop 28

Jake Jackson, Holy Trinity, Medina

Troop 35

Ryan Frentz, Holy Trinity, Medina

Troop 58

Paul Grew, St. Christopher, Tonawanda

Lucas Odojewski, St. Christopher, Tonawanda

Alex Pohl, St. Christopher, Tonawanda

Johnathan Samol, St. Christopher, Tonawanda

Troop 229G

Gabby Wild, St. Stephen, Grand Island

Troop 267     

Samuel Bowers, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Silver Creek

Jethduan Cordova-Olmo, St. Joseph, Fredonia

Ben Spengler, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Silver Creek

Jack Spengler, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Silver Creek

Troop 400

Joshua Janiszeski, St. John the Baptist, Boston

Dylan Savage, SS. Peter & Paul, Hamburg

Pope Pius XII

Troop 58

Christopher Haick, St. Christopher, Tonawanda

Troop 400

Brendan O’Beirne, SS. Peter & Paul, Hamburg

Jason Rudnicki, Ss. Peter & Paul, Hamburg

Troop 457

Noah Perras, St. Gregory the Great, Williamsville

Troop 601

Matthew Killian, St. Mary of the Assumption, Lancaster

Kemper Krebs, St. Mary of the Assumption, Lancaster

Bishop’s Scouting Award
Allie Fuszara, St. Mary, Swormville

Brendan O’Beirne, SS. Peter & Paul, Hamburg

Jason Rudnicki, SS. Peter & Paul, Hamburg

Noah Perras, St. Gregory the Great, Williamsville

Matthew Killian, St. Mary of the Assumption, Lancaster


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