Bishop presents Scout awards at annual Mass

By Dan McWilliams

Youth and adults were honored March 9 at the annual Bishop’s Scouting Mass and dinner at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Boy and Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls, and Trail Life boys attended the 5 p.m. vigil Mass.

Bishop Stika and Mr. Vargas present a Bronze
Pelican Award to Rachael LeBlanc.

“To all those involved in the Scouting program, to all the adults who guide them I say thank you,” Bishop Stika said at Mass.

Martin Vargas, emblems coordinator for the Knoxville Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, introduced 10 Scouting emblem of faith recipients, who drew a round of applause after their awards were presented.

At the dinner in the cathedral parish hall, Mr. Vargas introduced two adults who received the Bronze Pelican Award for their service.

“The first award is for Rachael LeBlanc for keeping us together, guiding us forward, and always doing an outstanding job,” Mr. Vargas said. “The second award is to Kimberly Turnmire, who does an outstanding job guiding our retreats and helping get Scouts along their path to God.”

Bishop Stika, a former Cub Scout himself, complimented adult Scouts at the dinner.

Bishop Stika and Mr. Vargas give a second Bronze Pelican Award to Kimberly Turnmire.

“In the Scouting program there are adults who give a lot of time because they see a value in helping other people,” he said.

Mr. Vargas presented Bishop Stika with the National Catholic Committee on Scouting’s Quality Diocese Award, which the Diocese of Knoxville has earned for more than 15 years running.

“My other hope with this award is those of you who are participating in the Scouts, you youngsters, that someday you, too, will be leaders in the Scouting program,” the bishop said.

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