Diocese of Brooklyn Catholic Committee on Scouting

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2012 Retreat


Pathfinder Scouts Busy In May
by Peter A. Ross

Brooklyn, specifically Saint Cecilia’s
Roman Catholic Church (one of the Divine
Mercy RC Parish sites) was the place to be
this past Saturday, May 19, as the Catholic
Committee On Scouting for Brooklyn and
Queens (the CCOSBQ) hosted its Annual
Catholic Retreat Event. Normally a weekend
overnight camping event held in October
(often in Alpine, New Jersey) the Committee
decided to hold it on a single day and
more locally to allow for more units and
individual Scouters to attend. Even with a
half marathon in Brooklyn and various
street fairs which wrecked havoc on the
commute for many in that borough approximately
40 to 50 youth and adults made
it to the event to fellowship. Approximately
12 units throughout the Diocese
were represented coming from as far as
Cambria Heights and Park Slope Brooklyn
and included Boy Scout Troops 119, 446,
390, 349, and 187, Cub Scout Packs 349
and 357, Girl Scout Troops 4592, 2078,
2700, and 2224, and Venture Crew 99. The
event was moderated by Reverend Thomas
F. Vassalotti, Parochial Vicar of the Divine
Mercy Parishes and Chaplain liaison of the
CCOSBQ with the Diocese. The event
themed “Service to God, Neighbor and
Country” was dedicated to the memory of
Catherine Barbour, mother of Committee
Chairman Henry Zalak, who passed on
earlier in the week to be with her Lord.
Condolences go out to Henry and the Zalak
family at this time. Father Vassalotti, Mr.
Paul Stanton and Girl Scout Leader Maribeth Dono proctored sessions discussing themes
from Luke Chapter 10 specifically the verses
on Mary and Martha and the Parable of the
Good Samaritan which really got the youth
going as they delved deeper into the meaning
of the verses and even acted out the
Parable of the Good Samaritan itself. During
this time other members of the Committee
conducted VIRTUS training, a youth
protection training geared toward adults
assisting or connected with catholic parish
organizations or ones affiliated with. Several
parents and leaders took advantage of
this while the youth were otherwise engaged.
After a break for a nice lunch in
house set up by the Committee Fr. Vassalotti
conducted a tour of St. Cecilia’s with special
attention to its history, the architecture
and materials used in its construction. A
short presentation on Saint Peter Claver
who ministered to slaves in the New World
at Cartagena (now part of Columbia) with
activities for the youth in regards was conducted
after which the group took a short
walk to sister parish St. Francis of Paola to
view and reflect on a film on military Chaplain
Father Emil J. Kapaun, who ministered
to and was a prisoner of war and died while
in this service in Korea. Father Vassalotti
concluded the day with a respectful service
and Mass back at Saint Cecilia’s and the
contingent made their respective ways home
full of information to reflect on from the
days activities. For more information on
the Catholic Committee on Scouting in
Brooklyn and Queens, and their upcoming
events please view their website at


Here is a link to a site about prayers:

World Prayers