- Families & Volunteers
Archdiocese of New Orleans reaffirms relationship with Girl Scouts Louisiana East
The century-old partnership between the Girl Scouts of the USA and the Catholic Church is nearly as old as the Girl Scout organization, who celebrated its 102nd year last March. Recently, the Archdiocese of New Orleans reaffirmed its relationship with the local council, Girl Scouts Louisiana East, in a memo it sent to its pastors, principals, youth and campus ministers, as well as Girl Scout leaders within its parishes.
“I encourage all scout leaders to remember that scouting is a valuable form of youth ministry, and that incorporating the available Catholic religious recognitions programs (for both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts), is an important way in which scouting can be infused with Catholic faith and values,” wrote Archbishop Gregory Aymond in the memo dated April 16.
“Our relationship with the Catholic Church is among our most precious,” said Girl Scouts Louisiana East CEO Jackie Alexander. “We are very pleased that, in light of the recent United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) guidance on Girl Scouts of the USA, that Archbishop Aymond values the relationship as well.”
The Archdiocese of New Orleans hosts Girl Scout troops at churches, schools and institutions in the archdiocese, and in April, the Archbishop participated in the Catholic Awards Ceremony at St. Louis Cathedral which was sponsored by the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouting and the CYO/Youth & Young Adult Ministry Office, during which over 100 Catholic Girl Scouts received religious awards.
Girl Scouts Louisiana East has been quite vocal in its rejection of any sort of relationship with Planned Parenthood, recognizing that matters of human sexuality and reproductive health are a private matter between a girl and her parents. The council, who has had a non-collaborative statement on its website for years, sent out a news release during the past Cookie Sale, refuting statements made by some groups suggesting Girl Scouts was pro-abortion.
Girl Scouts takes no position on abortion or birth control, believing these subjects are best addressed by girls and their parents, which is consistent with Girl Scouts of the USA’s letter of understanding with the Catholic Church.
The Archbishop’s memo did recognize some unresolved concerns at the USCCB regarding the relationship of the national Girl Scouts of the USA organization in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), and stated its desire that the Girl Scout troops hosted by the Archdiocese not participate in any WAGGGS activities nor wear the pin.
More information about the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouting can also be found here or by contacting John Smestad, Jr. director of the CYO/Youth & Young Adult Ministry Office, which oversees the Catholic Committee at 504-836-0551.