Scout retreat to honor St. Cabrini
By Julie Filby
A day retreat for all scouts in the Denver Archdiocese—boys and girls, from kindergarten through high school—is set for Nov. 3 at Mother Cabrini Shrine, 20189 Cabrini Blvd. in Golden.
In addition to inviting area Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, this marks the first year the retreat has included American Heritage Girls and Little Flowers.
American Heritage Girls, new to the archdiocese last year, is a faith-based scout program for girls from 5 to 18 that teaches service, teambuilding and leadership. Little Flowers, which has been present in the archdiocese for a few years, is a Catholic group for girls, age 5 to 11 that teaches virtues and tradition through the lives of saints, Scripture and the catechism.
The retreat themed “A Celebration of Mother Cabrini” will kick off with a presentation about St. Frances Xavier Cabrini by a sister of the saint’s order, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“She will talk about what Mother Cabrini did and why,” according to Brick Spellman from the Denver Area Catholic Committee on Scouting, adding that scouts can earn a Mother Cabrini patch through their participation.
Mother Cabrini, an Italian-born saint whose feast is celebrated Nov. 13, had an extensive history in the United States, including the Denver area. Initially sent to the U.S. in 1889 by Pope Leo XIII to serve Italian immigrants, she arrived in the Mile High City in 1902, where she started a school, an orphanage and a summer camp on the east slope of Lookout Mountain in Golden: the site of the shrine today.
The Scout retreat will also include making a craft and walking up the shrine’s 373-step “stairway of prayer,” weather permitting. The retreat, sponsored by the Denver Area Catholic Committee on Scouting, is free. Participants are asked to bring a lunch, and to sign up by calling Spellman at 303-703-9101 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk-ins and siblings are welcome as well. For more on the Denver Area Catholic Committee on Scouting, visit www.archden-dccs.org.
Catholic girls’ club: Little Flowers
Little Flowers Girls' Club is a Catholic club for girls—kindergarten through fourth grade—that teaches virtues through Scripture, saint biographies and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Founded some 20 years ago by a homeschooling mother, it is loosely based on the early 1990s “Catholic Girl’s Guide” by Father F.X. Lasance. There Father Lasance matched virtues to flowers, such as love of God to peonies, obedience to carnations and violets to humility.
The club is also based on the spirituality of the Little Flower of Liseux, St. Therese.
“St. Therese of Lisieux realized she simply needed to do little things for God, and her humility is a wonderful example for the girls,” said Kathy Gleason, who helps with the club at St. Thomas More Parish in Centennial. “(Little Flowers) teaches the kids their spirituality is important, and even though they’re small and learning to do things, they can have a special relationship with God.”
Girls complete “wreaths” by earning petal badges. Groups meet weekly, biweekly or monthly; and the program can be adapted to use with multiple age groups or one grade at a time.
“Our goal is to enrich the girls’ faith through making friends, praying together, learning traditions, performing service, and having fun,” said Gleason. “We try to keep the meetings simple and fun, hoping the girls will grow in their love of their faith and God.”
They also organize family activities such as field trips, pilgrimages, participation in pro-life events, community service, May crownings, and social events throughout the year.
Generally meetings begin by praying a decade of the rosary, followed by a saint study, virtue lesson, Scripture passage, and a craft or service activity. Little Flowers’ curriculum is available from Behold Publications at www.eccehomopress.com.
For more information or materials to start a club, visit the website, or contact one of the parishes with an existing Little Flowers club: St. Thomas More in Centennial, Shrine of St. Anne in Arvada, Our Lady of the Plains in Byers, St. Mary Parish in Littleton, St. Francis of Assisi and St. John the Baptist, both in Longmont.