The International Catholic Conference of Scouting (ICCS) is recognizing the rich history Scouts and Girl Guides have had over the past one hundred years as members of the Catholic Church. The first official event of the ICCS Centenary took place in Mouscron Belgium in January of 2013. The official conclusion of the program will take place at the World Scout Jamboree in Japan in 2015. The Peace Program and Community Services Program that are cornerstones of the Jamboree will be a part of the Keep the Lamp Burning initiative.
There has never been a time in the history of the mankind that has seen such a rapid expansion of our ability to communicate in an instant around the world. It must also be recognized that this instant communication does not always reach the people living in developing countries. These two worlds meet in our belief that Jesus Christ is our Savior. The Light of Christ must be kept burning bright in all corners of the globe by the values Scouting instills in our youth and by living Catholic Faith daily. The French priest Father Jacques Sevin, recognized the values Lord Baden Powell used in the founding of the Scouts and was one of the first clerics to develop organized scouting for Catholic youth through his special relationship with Lord Baden Powell. Father Sevin wanted scouts to know Christ was always with them as represented by the Lamp burning brightly in the middle of the camp.
For the past 100 years Scouts have promised “On my Honor I will do my best, to do my duty to God…” which is the beginning of oath taken by scouts around the world. The Scout Law of Boy Scouts of America concludes with “A Scout is……Reverent.” these are the parts of the promise and law that bring scouts together of all faiths. As Catholic Scouts we must recognize interfaith differences, but must always be conscience that we need to “Keep the Lamp Burning”, the light of Jesus Christ, burning within our young people. By recognizing these interreligious differences, Scouts will become better citizens of the world.
We recognize the great cultural diversities that exist in our Universal Church. These differences are to be cherished and shared by our Scouts as a way to enrich their understanding of what it is to be Catholic. This will also lead them to understand the need to be knowledgeable of the faiths and beliefs of all Scouts worldwide. The model of the Faith and Belief Zone at the 22nd World Jamboree in Sweden needs to be continued by Scouts for a better understanding of their faith as well as those beliefs of Scouts from all over our world.
Additional events are being planned for the Centenary that include special gathering places for scouts attending World Youth Day in Brazil, awareness campaigns a major Scouting events by national organizations in all regions, hosting an event for Scout Chaplains and leaders in the Holy Land, expanding the Light of Bethlehem program to Scouting worldwide and the promotion of the Messengers of Peace program and a pilgrimage to the tomb of Lord Baden Powell in Kenya hosted by the Uganda Catholic Scout Fraternity.
There will be an award designed that can be earned by Scouts that participate in the Keep the Lamp Burning program. Each ICCS region will be encouraged to host a program that will have Scouts design a logo to help showcase how their Catholic Faith is part of their life as a Scout and a citizen of the World.
17 February 2013Scott Harvey, KLB Chairperson Father Jacques Gagey, KLB Chaplain Advisor
Celebration of the Centennial of Catholic Scouts and Guide, in Mouscron, Belgium, where Fr. Jacques Sevin started his first Catholic Scout group.Continue reading …