Catholic Committee on Scouting Presents Religious Medals and Awards

Gathering at the annual Diocesan Religious Emblems Ceremony May 19 at St. Mary Kutztown are, from left: front, Caiden M, Corrinne K, John G, Scott S, Jordan C and Bernard Hofmann; second row, Connor M, Liam D, Nolan H, Hayden K, William S, Trentin L and Conor C; third row, Josh L, Stephen B, Robert P, Keith N, Brendan C, Randy Bjorken, Fred Flemming, Bill Kropa and Father Eric Tolentino. (Photos by John Simitz)

By TAMI QUIGLEY Staff writer

Diocesan scouts were honored for their efforts at the annual Diocesan Religious Emblems Award Ceremony May 19 at St. Mary, Kutztown.

Twenty youth and the Diocese of Allentown were recognized with medals and awards at the ceremony conducted by the Allentown Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting (ADCCOS).

The ceremony was coordinated by the Diocesan Office of Youth, Young Adult and Family Ministry (OYYAFM) and the Minsi Trails Catholic Committee on Scouting with Will Minford, program director.

Father Eric Tolentino, Diocesan scouting chaplain, presided at the ceremony that included benediction and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Bernard Hofmann, who is retiring as lay chairman of ADCCOS, was especially thanked for his many years of service as committee chairman. Hofmann has been a member of the committee for more than 40 years and was appointed chairman by the late Bishop Thomas Welsh over 34 years ago. During his long tenure hundreds of boy and girl scouts have earned their Catholic religious emblems.

For his work on the committee Hofmann has received every award that could be granted by the Diocese, the committee and the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS): the Bishop’s Award, the St. George Award and the Rev. Joseph Campbell Award. In addition, Alvernia University, Reading has presented him with the Rabbi Alan Weitzman Award.

Hofmann’s scouting career has been equally distinguished: Cubmaster of Pack 237 at St. John Baptist de la Salle, Shillington, and then committee chairman for both Pack and Troop 237. He became a council commissioner for Hawk Mountain Council, then vice president administration and council president. He is a member of the executive board for Hawk Mountain Council.

For his long and fruitful service Hofmann has received the Scouter Training Award, Scouting Service Award and the Silver Beaver Award from the council.

Hofmann and his wife Pat split their time between their homes in Reading and Calabash, North Carolina. They have five children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. They are parishioners of St. Joseph, Reading. He is president of the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles.

The ceremony was in loving memory of the late Father Joseph Grembocki, longtime Diocesan scouting chaplain.
The program included hymns, Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath, homily, blessing and presentation of medals.

Hofmann awarded the Quality Diocese Award to the Diocese of Allentown. The Quality Diocese Award is awarded to recognize Dioceses that promote and achieve a quality Catholic Scouting program. It is an opportunity for NCCS to salute Dioceses that truly deliver exceptional programs to youth members at all levels of Boy Scouts of America programs.

Quality programs for youth are what the NCCS continually seeks, and is committed to supporting this goal. It is their hope that each Diocese will establish annual goals to accomplish key areas of quality program delivery. When a Diocese earns this award, it makes a statement that they have provided their youth members with the highest quality program experience possible.

The purpose of the Ad Altare Dei program is to equip the scout to take his place in the world as a maturing Catholic and a maturing American. The requirements concern themselves with action and knowledge. The scout is to have some understanding of what it means to be a follower and disciple of Christ. The scout is to live and apply the sacraments to his life because it is through them that a person can become a maturing disciple of Christ.

The following young people of Hawk Mountain Council were recipients of this award:

  • St. Columbkill, Boyertown – Nolan H, Hayden K and Caiden M.
  • St. Ignatius Loyola, Sinking Spring – Tony B, John G, Trentin L, Scott S and William S.

The following young people of Minsi Trails Council were recipients of this award:

  • St. Peter the Fisherman, Lake Harmony – Jebediah S.

The purpose of the Light of Christ program is to help the cub scout develop a personal relationship with Jesus. With the parents’ active assistance and participation in this program, it is hoped that the cub will come to see Jesus as a real person and friend.

The following young people of Hawk Mountain Council were recipients of this award:

  • St. Columbkill, Boyertown – Josh L, Connor M and Robert P.

The following young person of the Minsi Trail Council is recipient of this award:

  • St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Easton – Corrine K.

The Pope Pius XII program was developed in recognition of the need for Catholic lay leaders in Church and community affairs. If young adults are formed in Christ, their formation will lead to a desire to serious commitment to action.

The emblem reflects the idea of growing concern with the world of God as well as the world of man. Guided by the Holy Spirit, this formation properly carried out will lead to transformed youth geared to their role as Christian leaders.

The following young people of Minsi Trails Council were recipients of this award:

  • Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown – Brendan C and Conor C.
  • Holy Family, Nazareth – Stephen B and Keith N.
  • St. Thomas More, Allentown – Michael J and Liam D.
  • SS. Peter and Paul, Lehighton - Jordan C.