Annual Diocesan Scout Convocation Mass held in Trafford
By Melissa Williams Brown
TRAFFORD – Vincent Brown and Shane Hornicak, both of Troop 251, along with Andy Muzy of Troop 293, all parishioners of St. Agnes, North Huntingdon and Boy Scouts of America Westmoreland-Fayette Council, received the Pope Pius XII religious emblem on Sunday, May 7, at St. Regis Church, Trafford.
Bishop Larry J. Kulick was celebrant and homilist for the annual Scout Convocation Mass, held at St. Regis Church in Trafford.
Bishop Kulick said that Scouting only exists because of dedicated volunteers and facilitators who challenge Scouts to do so many different projects.
Bishop Kulick thanked the Scouts, their leaders and families for all that they have accomplished. One of the great attributes of Scouting is to master life skills needed today more than ever, he said.
“We are Christians by our actions. What is at the heart of Scouting is service to God and one another,” said Bishop Kulick.
Bishop Kulick told the Scouts and awardees that Pius XII had a long and historic papacy. Pius XII was a man who preserved an important ministry and was progressive beyond our imagination, making sure God’s will was carried out.
Scouting helps to instill important moral values consistent with Catholic Church teachings, as well as leadership skills. Bishop Kulick said the most important thing is your name. He said it reflects not just you, but your entire family.
“When we are practicing Catholic Scouting, all that we do is in the name of the Lord. It’s Christ who calls us to be ambassadors,” said Bishop Kulick.
Statistics show that Scouting and the priesthood go hand in hand. Many priests in the Diocese of Greensburg have attained the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. Bishop Kulick is among the group of esteemed Eagle Scouts, as well as Father E. George Saletrik, pastor of St. Regis Parish and diocesan Scout chaplain.
Father Daniel J. Ulishney, pastor of St. Agnes Parish in North Huntingdon, was also an Eagle Scout, and said Scouting has been very generous to priestly vocations. Eagle Scouts ordained and still in active ministry in the Diocese of Greensburg include Father Mathew J. Morelli and Father Daniel E. Carr to name a few, along with Andrew Hamilton, who will be ordained soon.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank in Scouts BSA, formerly known as Boy Scouts of America. Just a small percentage have earned the prestigious status. It takes determination, drive and an exorbitant amount of time to receive Eagle Scout status. Astronauts, U.S. senators, high-level politicians and clergy have achieved this major milestone. The late Gerald R. Ford is the only U.S. president to attain Eagle Scout status.
Many who attain Eagle Scout status take the path to the priesthood.
Ordinands who belonged to Boy Scouts constituted 25 percent of all respondents to a survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., The Class of 2023: Survey of Ordinands to the priesthood.
They represented 29 percent of ordinands in religious institutes and 25 percent of ordinands to the diocesan priesthood. Between 2006 and 2023, their share averaged 30 percent.
Father Saletrik, pastor and diocesan Scout chaplain, was an Eagle Scout in Troop 616 in his hometown of Uniontown. When he entered the seminary, he shadowed Father Lawrence Manchas, longtime diocesan Scout chaplain.
Father Ulishney said that leadership and moral values are the common ground for Scouts who attain the rank of Eagle and go on to the seminary.