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ArchBishop Garcia-Siller Expounds Scouting Values at Catholic Retreat

Catholic Committee of Scouting 2015 Retreat held at McGimsey

by Angel Martinez for the Alamo Area BSA: December 7, 2015

The Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council was proud to welcome all Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and their family and friends to the Catholic Committee on Scouting's 2015 Retreat on Saturday, October 10, 2015, at McGimsey Scout Park.   Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS, led a closing mass with a message entitled "Encountering Christ" that also expounded the values of Scouting in his life.  

“Scouting has been an important ministry in the Archdiocese of San Antonio for a very long time. Your troops that are formed by the Catholic Committee on Scouting are special,” the archbishop began. “While you learn the fundamental principles and values of scouting, you also deepen your faith and your understanding of your place in the Catholic church as you build community with your brother and sister scouts. Your dedication as Scouts is truly a blessing to our parishes and the whole community," said Archbishop Garcia-Siller, MSpS.

Almost 150 Scouters and their parents took part in the Catholic Committee on Scouting Retreat at the McGimsey Scout Camp on October 10, which, according to organizers, represented one of the best turnouts at the event in recent years.

The Scouts took part in activities to learn more about the lives of St. John Neumann, St. George and Father Junipero Serra. They had the opportunity to play a game of soccer and participate in a service project at the campground.  

"In the mass, we are reflecting...on how to value creation, to cultivate what the Lord has given to us in creation, and how young boys and girls in Scouting are able to appreciate the creation the Lord has entrusted to our care...I learned how to face tough things when I was a Boy Scout; and to move forward; and to complete goals.  Young men and women, consider the possibility to join Scouting.  Because, it could be a great way for you to grow, to mature, and to enjoy and contribute to the world.  Scouting is a wonderful thing!" said Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller.

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In the Gospel reading, listeners heard the story of the rich young man’s encounter with Christ. He runs towards Jesus, and kneels down before him, nearly out of breath and filled with emotion. He looks Jesus in the eye and asks, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answers him by asking if he obeys the Ten Commandments. The young man answers he has been faithful to them since he was a boy. Then, to the surprise of the young man, and everyone who could hear this conversation, Jesus tells him this was not enough; that his heart was still divided between his love for God and his love for things. Jesus tells him to “...sell what you have, and give to the poor.”

He continued, “This is very much like the promises you made when you became Scouts. You promise to do your duty to God and country and obey the Scout law. However, you also promise to help other people at all times. It is clear that being a Scout is about doing good things for others, for our families, for the community, for our country. It is not only about not doing things. The hallmark of a Catholic Scout calls you to go above and beyond the basics and to do all that you can with love and mercy.”

"The Alamo Area Council is honored to have Archbishop Garcia-Siller share his wisdom, faith, and passion with our Scouting community!  The Catholic Committee on Scouting is a tremendous partner with us for the success of Scouting youth becoming our future leaders," said Michael de los Santos, Scout Executive / CEO, Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council.

The Missionary of the Holy Spirit ended by asking attendees to help one another at times of difficulty and lighten each other’s burdens through support, concluding, “When it gets hard to do, say a short prayer, ‘Come! Holy Spirit! Come!’”

To Join Scouting

or for more information on "Building Your Adventure", visit or email or call 210-341-8611 and ask for the membership department to be put in contact with the Scout Service Executive who organizes Scouts in your area. 

About the Archdiosese of San Antonio

Encompassing 27,841 square miles, The Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio includes the city of San Antonio and the following counties: Val Verde, Edwards, Kerr, Gillespie, Kendall, Comal, Guadalupe, Gonzales, Uvalde, Kinney, Medina, Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, Frio, Atascosa, and the portion of McMullen north of the Nueces River. The Archdiocese of San Antonio was erected as a diocese on August 28, 1874, then elevated to an archdiocese on August 3, 1926.  As of 2015, it has 139 parishes, 34 missions and one pastoral center.  On October 14, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Gustavo Garcia-Siller as archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.  For more information, visit www.archsa.orgExternal Link.

About the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council

The Alamo Area Council, BSA, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, serves a 13 county area imparting the Scouting program to over 28,500 youth and 7,500 volunteer adults in South Texas. The Boy Scouts of America continue to prepare young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training utilizing outdoor activity, citizenship, and sports fitness. For more information about the Alamo Area BSA, visit www.AlamoAreaBSA.orgExternal Link.

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