BSA Policy Statement
After the adjustment in the Boy Scouts of America policy in 2015, the Diocese of Richmond issued a statement regarding this decision. Read it here.
Religious Emblems for Catholic Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturing Crews
- Faith in God is an important part of Scouting.
- What does it mean to be a Catholic Scout? It means being a Scout that believes in Jesus Christ and upholding everything the Catholic Church believes and teaches.
- Scouts grow to understand their faith within scouting through earning Religious Emblems.
- Religious Emblems help Scouts grow stronger in their faith life, providing an opportunity to learn more about Catholicism and grow closer to Christ.
- Earning Religious Emblems is an important cornerstone of faith development in study, activities, prayer and community help to strengthen their spiritual foundation.
- Developing a deeper relationship with God coupled with a love and understanding of the Catholic Church will carry young people through the rest of their lives.
Any Catholic Scout who achieves Eagle rank can get a letter from Pope Francis. Send the following information in a letter to the address below. Please make sure you include: 1) Scout’s Name 2) Troop Number 3) Council 4) Parish and Parish Town 5) Eagle Project details with any copies of certificates and pictures 6) Address certificate is to be mailed to for presentation
NOTE: Unfortunately this cannot be done retroactively.
Please mail the above to:
3339 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington DC 20008
Cub Scout Religious Emblems
The purpose of the Light of Christ program is to help Cub Scouts develop a personal relationship with Jesus. With the parents active assistance and participation in this program, it is hoped that the scout will come to see Jesus as a real person and his friend.
This program is designed for registered Tiger and Wolf Cub Scouts of the Catholic faith.
The purpose of the Parvuli Dei (Children of God) emblem is to help young boys explore a wide range of activities in order to discover the presence of God in their daily lives as members of their families and parishes, and also to develop a good, positive self-image through the contributions they can make to the group or community.
This program is designed for scouts registered Bear and Webelos Cub Scouts of the Catholic faith.
Boy Scout and Venturing Religious Emblems
The purpose of the Ad Altare Dei (to the altar of God) program is to help Catholic Boy Scouts and Venturing Crew Scouts develop a fully Christian way of life in the faith community. The program is organized in chapters based on the seven Sacraments: a primary means toward spiritual growth.
This program is designed for scouts registered Boy Scouts or Venturing Crew Scouts of the Catholic faith, ages 13-18 years old, active members of the Troop/Crew for 6 months and completed the 6th grade before starting the program.
The Pope Pius XII is a church-related ministries and vocation program. The program deals with different life choices (single, married, religious and ordained) occupations and ministries in the church as calls from God. It includes participant led discussions on current issues facing the church and society which are normally included as part of a Pope Pius XII retreat or day of recollection.
This program is designed for registered Boy Scouts or Venturing Crew Scouts of the Catholic faith ages 15-18 years old for Boy Scouts and 15-21 for Venturing Crew Scouts.
The Light is Life program respects the cultural and ritual differences among the various Eastern Catholic Churches. The goal of the program is to bring about a deeper awareness of his share in faith-life. Going forth, he will witness this life through maturity in communal worship and in Christian formation of this world. This program is an alternative to the Ad Altare Dei program.
This program is designed for scouts registered Boy Scouts of an Eastern Catholic faith, ages 12-18 years old, active members of the Troop/Crew for 6 months and completed the 6th grade before starting the program.
Diocesan Recognition Programs & Special Awards
The Pillars of Faith program provides special recognition to those boys who have earned all four Catholic Religious Emblems:
- Light of Christ
- Parvuli Dei
- Ad Altare Dei
- Pope Pius XII
Special Adult Awards
The Bronze Pelican Award is a Diocesan recognition sponsored by the Catholic Committee on Scouting for the Diocese of Richmond. It may be presented to any adult who is working with the scouting program under the Catholic auspices, to Catholics in scout units not chartered by the Church, and those who have made a significant contribution to scouting in the field of Catholic relationships. This award may be given to Catholic lay members, priests and pastoral coordinators or those of another faith who have been supportive of Catholic scouting. The purpose of this program is to recognize the recipients outstanding contribution to the development of youth in the programs of the Boy/Girl Scouts. No honorary recognitions will be made.
The Saint George Emblem is a National recognition approved by the Catholic Committee on Scouting. It may be presented to any adult who is working with the Boy Scout program under the Catholic auspices, to Catholics in Boy Scout units not chartered by the Church, and those who have made a significant contribution to scouting in the field of Catholic relationships. It can be given to men, women, priests, religious or non-Catholics. The purpose of this program is to recognize the recipients outstanding contribution to the development of youth in the programs of the Boy Scouts of American. No honorary recognitions are to be made.
(This patch can be worn on the Scout shirt, right pocket button.)
The Pope Paul VI Quality Unit Award recognizes Scouting Units that offer a quality Scouting program that includes opportunities for our Scouts to grow in their Catholic faith. Requirements for the award are defined in the attached application, and include key focus on training, Religious Emblems, activities related to our Catholic faith, service to others, and more.
If you run a quality program and your Unit is involved in your parish, your unit likely qualifies for the Pope Paul VI Award! Review the attached application, complete the requirements, and when ready, fill it in and forward it to: Office for Evangelization, Diocese of Richmond, 7800 Carousel Lane, Richmond, VA 23294.
Your Unit and its leaders and Scouts should be recognized for their Quality Unit!
- All adult volunteers working with youth in the Diocese of Richmond are required to complete a Volunteer Application Form including a confidential reference screenings and criminal background checks. Your parish office can assist you with this process.
- Additionally, all adult volunteer participants must complete the Diocesan Safe Environment Virtus Training. To register for the Virtus Training, go on www.virtus.org to register for a training session in your area. For additional Virtus information, contact the Office of Human Resources at the Pastoral Center or by phone at 804-359-5661.
- Cub, Boy, and Venturing Scouts must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America to work on these religious emblems.
- Those Scouts living outside the USA should contact the Archdiocese of Military Chaplain or the National Chaplain upon completion.
- All program material for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturing Crews are obtained from the local Boy Scout office.
- Religious Emblem Books may also be obtained directly from BSA Supply and through PRAY Publications.
- The Light is Life program is an alternative to Ad Altare Dei for Boy Scouts belonging to the Eastern Catholic Churches (e.g. Maronite and Byzantine). Workbooks are obtained only from your Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting or directly from the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.
- To order any of the above awards, click here
- Medals should be presented at a Mass, at a Diocese of Richmond Religious Emblem Ceremony or appropriate Court of Honor ceremony.
Interested in facilitating a religious emblem program? Need more information? Please call our office at 804-622-5159 or send an email to us at [email protected].
Boy Scouts of America Blue Ridge Mountain Council
Boy Scouts of America Colonial Virginia Council
Boy Scouts of America Heart of Virginia Council
Boy Scouts of America Shenandoah Area Council
Boy Scouts of America Tidewater Council
Virginia Headwaters Council, BSA