St. James eighth grader and Boy Scout, Danny Strebar, received the Ad Altare Dei religious emblem from Bishop Emeritus Joseph Seigel at a ceremony held at The Cathedral of St. Raymond on April 6, 2013, in Joliet , Illinois. Ad Altare Dei (To the Altar of God) us the third of four emblems designed to assist Catholic Boy Scouts in their spiritual growth and understanding of the faith. It focuses on deep examination of the sacraments in preparation for Confirmation. During the year-long program of study, Danny attended classes, did numerous reflection projects and write-ups, attended a spiritual retreat at St. James and took part in the “scouts Take Courage” day of reflection with Bishop Conlon. He also participated in service projects at St. Patrick’s Residence in Naperville.
Danny’s ongoing personal service project took on special meaning during Ad Altare Dei. For the past four years, Danny has used part of his weekly allowance to purchase over 500 rosaries for patients at Edward Hospital in Naperville. On Saturday mornings, he accompanies his mother on her Eucharistic Ministry rounds. In his write-up for Ad Altare Dei, Danny states, “I go to the hospital in my scout uniform so I can cheer up the patients who don’t get visitors, those who are sad or lonely, and talk to those who seem to be afraid. I also hand out rosaries if the patients would like one. I think that having a Boy Scout visit them really makes their day since I can start a conversation about merit badges or activities. They forget where they are for a few minutes. Sometimes I learn that their children or grandchildren are Eagle Scouts. Something as simple as my rosary project gives people a reminder to ask God for help and comfort and lets them know that someone is thinking of them. Sometimes, when you feel like you want to give up, someone brightens your world and you get that spark back. Being part of the hospital ministry and the Ad Altare Dei program gave me a deeper understanding of how special the Sacraments of Eucharist and Healing are.”
Danny received the Light of Christ and Parvuli Dei religious emblems as a Cub Scout with St. James Pack 266. Now a Life Scout with Boy Scout Troop 37 at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights, Danny has begun his Eagle Scout project which will benefit St. James. “Father Bill, Father Joji, Father Gilbert, Mrs. Pappas, Mrs. Farrell, my teachers and Mrs. Baker, my Ad Altare Dei counselor, have taught me so much about being a Catholic and appreciating the spiritual gifts and education that I have been blessed to receive. I want to thank each of them, along with my mom and my Scoutmasters, Tom Kresnicka nd Dave Ferriss, for their guidance and support. They are all amzing examples of how to lead a Christian life and how to live by the Scout Oath and Law.” Danny will attend Benet Acaemy in Lisle this fall.