Bishop appointed to national Scouting committee

(Miscellany/Keith Jacobs) Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone was named Episcopal Liaison to the National Committee on Scouting.

(Miscellany/Keith Jacobs) Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone was named Episcopal Liaison to the National Committee on Scouting.Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone was recently appointed as Episcopal Liaison to the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

The appointment was made by Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, and officially announced Nov. 15, 2010, at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Your long association with the Boy Scouts and your continued interest in promoting the goals of this organization will prove beneficial to the committee,” Cardinal George wrote in a letter to the bishop.

Bishop Guglielmone was recommended for the post by retiring Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger of the Diocese of Evansville, Ind., who has served as Scouting liaison since 1997.

The two men have known each other for about 13 years through the Scouting program, where Bishop Guglielmone has served in a variety of roles, including two terms as world chaplain.

As liaison he will serve as a bridge between the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church. The bishop said it’s a wonderful opportunity to bring religion to youth.

“The Scouts offer a program that is very attractive to young people,” he told The Miscellany. “I’m just happy to be of service and offer whatever I can to be part of the strengthening of the relationship between Scouts and the church.”

Other members of the Scouting community were thrilled by the news.

“This is a great honor for the Scouts of South Carolina,” said Jim Weiskircher, the Diocese of Charleston Catholic Committee on Scouting Chair. “He brings a wealth of knowledge of Scouting to the position that will help Scouting as a youth ministry to grow.”

Bishop Guglielmone announced another appointment that he feels will be invaluable in connecting Scouts and vocations: Father Jeffrey F. Kirby, vicar for vocations, will be appointed Scout chaplain for the diocese and the region for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

Weiskircher credits Bishop Guglielmone with the committee’s tremendous growth in South Carolina.

In the past year, all five dioceses that make up the Province of Atlanta joined together to celebrate 100 years of Catholic Scouting. The committee also featured three diocesan seminarians at the Catholic Camporee in October. The young men discussed vocations and demonstrated to the Scouts that entering the priesthood is something they should consider, Weiskircher said.

Future plans include a retreat for Scouts working on their religious emblems and a prayer service on Scout Sunday in February. Also, in March, the committee will hold the first ever Catholic Trail of Churches in downtown Charleston. 

“Having a very humble, charismatic person as our leader has helped to raise awareness of Scouting in South Carolina. We are only limited by our imagination as to what the program can be and how we can bring our children closer to God,” Weiskircher said.