William and Jonny Serbus became the second and third Boy Scouts in Kimball Troop 357 history to receive the Ad Altare Dei Religious Emblem.
The boys started working on this program back in March, when the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled religion classes at St. Anne’s Church in Kimball. Wanting to keep a religion program throughout the school year, the boys decided to partake in this program, working on it every Sunday in lieu of religion class. The Ad Altare Dei program has been developed by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting through the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The boys had to seek out a counselor from the St. Cloud Diocese who is a member of the Catholic Committee of Scouting. They found Bob Rueter to be their counselor. After finding their counselor they had to complete the application to begin working on the Emblem program. The approval application must be signed by the applicant, parent, counselor, Troop leader, and pastor.
The purpose of the Ad Altare Dei (to the altar of God) program is to help Catholic Youth of the Roman Rite develop a fully Christian way of life in the faith community. The program is organized in chapters based on the seven sacraments. The seven
Sacraments are a primary means toward spiritual growth. The most important aspect of the program is that the Scout grows in his spiritual experience of his relationship to God and the church.
The Program is designed to be completed in 6-8 months. After all sections have been completed, the counselor will contact the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting to find out the schedule for the Ad Altare Dei Board of Review. The Scout will sit before the Board of Review.
William and Jonny completed and passed their board of review Tuesday, Sept. 8. Since William and Jonny earned this Religious Emblem they are also entitled to wear a Boy Scouts of America Religious Knot over their left pocket. The Ad Altare Dei was presented to the boys on Sunday, Oct. 4, with a Mass with Bishop Kettler at St. Augustine Church in St. Cloud. Bishop Kettler was thrilled to do this special Mass for the Scouts as he was an Eagle Scout 63 years ago. Four scouts in total earned this emblem, William, Jonny, and only two others from the diocese.
This is the second religious emblem the boys had earned, as they had previously earned their Parvuli Dei (Children of God) emblem as Cub Scouts.
William and Jonny are active members and altar boys of St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Kimball.
They are the children of Matt and Carly Serbus of Kimball, grandchildren of Frank III and Cathy Schiefelbein of Kimball, and Dotte Serbus of Kimball. Great-grandchildren of Frank Jr. and Frosty Schiefelbein of Kimball, and Jean McDonnell of Buffalo.