Col. (Ret.) John J. Halloran, Jr.
Our Chair's 5th letter to our Board Members 3/26/12
Dear Executive and Advisory Board members,
I seem to be remiss in my promise to keep you informed and for that I apologize. I was thinking I wrote to you all about 4 months ago but checking my files it has been longer than that. Not sure where the time went but for me it is flying by. In a month, Fr. Stephen Salvador and I will have a year... left to go before we turn the reigns over to our successors.
This brings me to a lot of congratulations. Ed Martin has been elected to be the next National Chair. He and Fr. Michael Hanifin are in the process of getting their goals and objectives together and will be looking for input from many of you. Other members elected / selected to serve from the recent elections are Mike Gannon - continuing on as National Vice-Chair, George LeCrone - new National Vice-Chair, Ben Feril - new Region 4 Chair, Alan Tarlo, Jr. - continuing on as Region 6 Chair, Fr. Joseph Powers - continuing on as Region 9 Chaplain, Roy Harrington - continuing on as Region 12 Chair, Nancy Welton - new Region 13 Chair and Fr. Jeff Kirby - continuing on as Region 14 Chaplain. The election also mean we are losing some great Catholic Scouters who will continue to be part of NCCS and whom Fr. Stephen and I were privileged to serve with. They are Austin Cannon - National Vice-Chair, Sam Bridgeman – Region 4 Chair and Don Ellefsen – Region 13 Chair. We extended to our outgoing leadership a tremendous thank you for a job well done.
By now most of you have heard that our Bishop Liaison, Bishop Bob Guglielmone, was selected to receive the Silver Buffalo. At our Biennial meeting in Dallas, five very deserving individuals will receive the Silver St. George. They are Msgr. John Wendrychowicz, Fr. (LTC) Jerome Fehn, Chris Manning, Joseph Benamati and Joseph Simon. We will also be presenting the Brother Barnabas Award to two very exceptional and dedicated members of the NCCS. If you want to know who they are, then come join us at the Biennial Conference in Dallas. Finally, it pleases me to reiterate the election of our Past National Chair, Bray Barnes as the new World Chair for the International Catholic Committee on Scouting (ICCS).
In all my letters, I inform you of the passing of our dedicated Catholic Scouts and Scouters. Those that have gone on to their eternal rest from my last letter are: Joseph Maloney (7/15/11) – New Kensigton, PA, Marjorie Green (12/6/11) – Kansas City, MO, Jean Ribar (12/31/11) – Louisville, KY, Ellie Starr (2/7/12) – Grapevine, TX, Paul Resch (2/15/12) – San Jose, CA, Pat Berger (3/14/12) – Depauw, IN, 1st Class Scout Jonathan Funches (3/15/12) – Comstock Park, MI and Michael Murphy (3/21/12) – Tampa, FL. May God grant them eternal peace and salvation and may God continue to heal the broken hearts of those they left behind. Please keep our departed friends and their families in your prayers. We will also include them and all whom I have been informed that have gone to their eternal rest in a Memorial Mass at our upcoming Biennial Conference.
The Girl Scouts continue to get slammed for their alleged stance on women’s issues. One of our Diocesan Chaplain’s made the decision to remove them from the Diocesan Committee after hearing one side of the issue and will close the Diocesan Committee down if the BSA does not separate itself from the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) because of WOSM’s perceived stance on anti Catholic issues. This situation was given to Fr. Stephen to resolve with the Diocesan Chaplain. Fr. Stephen and I ask that no one make rash decisions without consulting us over the issues with the girl scouts. Our stance is that unless otherwise directed, the Catholic Girl Scouts remain a part of the Diocesan Committees and are included in all Diocesan activities and events. We will continue to send all issues concerning the girl scouts to the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) since they have been tasked to evaluate issues concerning them.
I had the opportunity to attend the ICCS Key Leader meeting (18 – 19 SEP) in Fall River, MA, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, CA CCOS Retreat (30 SEP – 2 OCT), Religious Relationships Task Force Meeting (10 OCT) in Dallas, TX, the NCCS Executive Committee Meeting (11 – 12 OCT) in Dallas, TX, Bishop’s Breakfast (14 NOV) at the USCCB Conference in Baltimore, MD, the ICCS World Council Conference (1 – 4 DEC) in St. Louis, MO, wake and funeral of Fr. Stephens father Seraphim Salvador (9 – 10 DEC) in New Bedford, MA, Religious Relationships Task Force Meeting (6 FEB) in Dallas, TX, wake and funeral of Ellie Starr (9 – 10 FEB) in Dallas, TX and the Annual Scout Mass & Religious Emblems Award Ceremony (19 FEB) in Shreveport, LA. My future plans are to attend the Region 3 Training Workshop (24 MAR) in Blackwood, NJ, Diocese of Corpus Christi Bishop’s Religious Awards Mass (13 MAY) in Corpus Christi, TX and the Archdiocese of Miami Bishop’s Religious Awards Mass (2 JUN) in Miami, FL.
We have less than a month before our Biennial Conference (19 – 22 APR). I encourage every member of the Executive and Advisory Board to attend. Currently we have 88 folks registered for it. In August is our Philmont Course (5 – 10 AUG) – ‘Scouting in the Catholic Church’. Margaret Matarese – Course Director, Fr. Kevin Smith – Course Advisor, Susan Barriball – Past Course Director and Ben Feril – new staff member have been selected as instructors. Fr. Stephen and I will also be in attendance. Currently we have 13 folks who have signed up for it. Fr. Gerard Gentleman and Chris Manning will once again take the leadership reigns for the 2013 St. George Trek (10 – 25 JUL) at Philmont. The National BSA Scout Jamboree (15 – 24 JUL) will be held at the Summit in West Virginia. Both the St. George Trek and the Jamboree will require a number of Clergy to fill the required positions. If you are interested in or know someone who would be interested in staffing the St. George Trek, please contact Fr. Gerard Gentleman and for the Jamboree contact Fr. Michael Hanifin. If you are interested in being a lay staff member for the Jamboree or know someone who would make a good lay staff member then contact Ed Martin. Most importantly, I need your help in spreading the word and encouraging attendance for all these major activities.
Finally, I need to inform you that we continue to lose units and membership. George Sparks, Membership Chair, and his team have been working hard to overcome this trend. His team can’t do it alone. One thing that will help is the addition of Bishop James Tamayo who was very involved in BSA’s Hispanic Initiative. However, the success or failure of our recruiting efforts rests in your hands, directly and indirectly. We need you to be actively involved with your respective Diocesan Committees and strongly encourage them to add new units and membership and we need you promote Catholic Scouting at every opportunity.
In conclusion, Fr. Stephen and I cannot thank you enough for all you have done and are doing for Scouting, especially Catholic Scouting. We have made great strides with your help but we have a little ways to go to accomplish all the goals and objectives we had when we took over. May you have a Blessed Easter season.
COL (Ret.) John J. Halloran, Jr. – NCCS National Chai