Youth & Young Adult Ministry

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

About the Emblem:

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.

Program Objectives:

The most important aspect of the program is that the Scout grows in his spiritual experience of his relationship to God and the church.


Registered youth in a Troop or Crew of the Catholic Faith.
Designed for youth 13-14 years old, older youth may use this program.
Active member of a unit for 6 months.
Completed 6th grade before starting the program.


Each Scout must have his own Activity Book. The book is designed for the youth to work on with the guidance of a counselor.
The program is designed to be completed in 6-8 months.
The use of a Catholic Bible is required for this program. You will need to have one to use.
Regular participation in Sunday worship.
Diocesan and BSA Youth Protection policies must be followed.
Complete the requirements in the Ad Altare Dei Scout Manual.
Successfully complete an Ad Altare Dei Board of Review.
A trained religious emblems coordinator/counselor/moderator is required to work on religious emblems.
Contact to become trained and for ceremony schedules.

Getting Started:

Identify a counselor. Ask your Scoutmaster/Advisor, pastor, parish administrator, director if religious education, any member of the troop committee, or Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting if there is an emblem counselor in your parish or area.
After you have selected your counselor, you must complete the application to begin working on the Emblem program. The application is in the Ad Altare Dei Emblem book. The approval application must be signed by the applicant, parent, counselor, Troop leader, and pastor.
Emblem Books may be obtained most economically and quickly from your local BSA Council Service Center Scout Shops. or online at BSA Supply at "" or contact at the Diocese of Rochester.

Responsibility for Scouting Youth:

Attend weekly meetings. Actively work on the activities.
All journal entries, reports, and written work should be legible and neat.
Work through the Ad Altare Dei Scout Manual with your counselor using a Bible where appropriate.
There are three parts to each step. When all parts of a step are completed, review the Emblem book with the counselor.
Be prepared to share experiences at the Board of Review.
Attend a retreat or Day of Recollection while working on the AAD program.
Keep the Religious Emblems Coordinator informed of his progress.

Counselor's Role:

Counselors for the Ad Altare Dei emblem should be approved in advance by their pastors and the Scout Chaplain or Catholic Committee in Scouting. The Religious Emblem Counselor's Guide is an integral part of this program and contains the necessary resources for anyone.
All religious Emblem Counselors and Facilitators must have current BSA Youth Protection and Local Diocese Youth Protection training, Creating a Safe Environment.
Use the AAD Counselor Guide. Use Religious Emblem Reference Manual (PDF).
Counsel the participants when required, and in general facilitate (keep moving and on track) the general discussion.
Hold weekly meetings lasting 60-90 minutes.
The youths Emblem book is to be examined as the Scout proceeds through each step of the program. The counselor will sign and date the certification of completion for the step Spiritual growth should be evident when progressing from step to step.
Keep the Religious Emblems Coordinator informed of the youth's progress.

Program Completion:

After all sections have been completed, the counselor will contact the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting to find out the schedule for the AAD Board of Review.
The Scout will sit before the Board of Review.

After the pastor or his representative signs the book and the application form, only the application form, order form and check need to be sent to:

                                      Diocese of Rochester
                                      c/o  Alison LeChase
                                      Diocesan Liaison for Catholic Scouting
                                      1150 Buffalo Road
                                      Rochester, NY 14624

Once the application is received and approved further instructions on how to obtain the religious emblem will be mailed to you with details about the emblem presentation on February 3, 2018.
Scouts who earn this Religious Emblem are also entitled to wear a BSA Religious Knot over their left pocket. These knots are to presented at the Parish level and will not be presented at the Celebration of Catholic Scouting.
2018 Celebration of Catholic Scouting Religious Emblems 
February 3, 2018
Sacred Heart Cathedral