Archdiocese of St. Louis Encourages Parish Support for American Heritage Girls
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CINCINNATI, OH (March 25, 2014) -- The Archdiocese of St. Louis is encouraging support for American Heritage Girls (AHG), as well as other faith-based organizations for girls, and is urging pastors to welcome such groups into their parishes, according to a March 19 article published in the St. Louis Review.
American Heritage Girls is an international faith-based character-development program for girls ages five through 18. The Archdiocese also expressed support for Little Flowers Girls' Club, which was founded as a Catholic organization for girls ages 5 and older.
"From baptism, our parents are the first teachers of their children in the ways of the faith. And at this tender age, we want to make sure that they're being influenced in a positive way regarding the faith," Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice said.
Father Brian Fischer, executive director of the archdiocesan Catholic Youth Apostolate, which oversees the Office of Catholic Scouting Ministry, noted that "we need to saturate ourselves in the joy, the truth and the peace of the Gospel -- so much more so for the youth entrusted to our care during their most formative time in their lives. That is why we are so excited to promote these faith-based organizations, Little Flowers and American Heritage Girls, that will aid parents and parishes in growing disciples."
In 2011, the Diocese of Rockford issued a diocesan endorsement for formation of American Heritage Girls within its diocese, and appointed a diocesan chaplain to serve "as arbiter for the admission of new troops and assist in their evolution."
Last January, American Heritage Girls assisted the Catholic Diocese of Arlington as the largest sponsor of its national prayer gathering and youth rally in Washington, D.C., prior to the March for Life event, which marked the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade. A few weeks later, AHG introduced a new Respect Life Patch that reinforces the organization's commitment to honoring life from conception to natural death.
"AHG is looking forward to serving alongside the Archdiocese of St. Louis and its parishes in providing a Christ-honoring faith-based program of character development for today's girls," said Patti Garibay, executive director of American Heritage Girls. "Over recent years AHG has seen great growth in interest and membership of Catholic families, and is looking forward to building relationships with dioceses across the nation."
Founded in 1995 in Cincinnati, Ohio, AHG currently has more than 33,000 members across the globe, with more than 740 troops and members in all 50 states. Girls in AHG participate in a wide array of badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities and outdoor experiences. In the past four years, the organization has experienced 40-50% membership growth annually. For additional information, visit AHGonline.org.
http://www.AHGonline.org TN, 37064 US
Don Beehler - ,
Archdiocese of St. Louis, Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice, American Heritage Girls
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