Ad Altare Dei Boy Scouts Inspire at St. Gregory’s

“I can make good pancakes.”

“I have good computer skills.”

“I’m good at English.”

These were some of the responses I received when I surveyed my Ad Altare Dei (AAD) scouts about their gifts during a retreat on Independence Day weekend at Camp Balboa downtown. Our St. Francis/Pope Francis-themed retreat is one of the many requirements teen scouts need to earn the AAD—or “toward the altar of God”—Catholic religious emblem. The most important part of our exploration of the seven sacraments, on which the program is based, is that the scouts grow in their relationship with God and the church.

“Ok, what can you do with those gifts?” I probed.

“I can cook for an elderly person.”

“I can help my grandma with her computer.”

“I can proofread college applications.”

Next was to compose a prayer to the Holy Spirit asking for assistance:

“Dear Holy Spirit, You have helped me my whole life. Please guide me to find my vocation that will benefit others. Amen.”

“O Holy Spirit. Through You, let us live the call of the Lord helping those around us. Help us build the Kingdom of God by showing the light of Christ in our actions and words. Give us the strength to guide those around us to the love of Christ. In your Holy Name we pray. Amen.”

“Dear Lord, Help me to be happy with what I will end up doing in the future.”

As their religious emblems counselor, I continue to be inspired by these young men’s articulate and honest expression of their faith. For more about the AAD emblem, visit [www.nccs-bsa.org/emblems/AdAltareDei.php].

Ellen Caprio