Boy Scouts Are Asked to Leave St. Anthony’s

February 19, 2014
By

They say no good turn goes unpunished and the recently revived Revere Boy Scout and Cub Scout Troop are trying to figure out why their good turns were rejected recently by St. Anthony’s Church.

Several Scout volunteers contacted the Journal about the eviction of the Scouts from the Church, and Troop 15 Cub Scout Leader Mark Fortin said he simply had no explanations to offer.

He said the Boy Scout Troop and his Cub Scout Troop, which have around 20 members combined, had received a letter evicting them from the meeting hall in the church – a place they’ve been meeting for three years.

“It came completely without reason or explanation,” said Fortin. “They gave us a whopping 11 days notice. It’s amazing and unfortunate. Things all changed when Father George (Butera) replaced Father Mike a few years ago. The only time I’ve really ever met Father George is during our Christmas Party this past year when he came down and told us we were lucky that he let us meet there. Many of the parents there were parishioners of St. Anthony’s and they were appalled. We asked him what he meant – had we done something wrong – and he just put his hands up and said goodnight. It’s not a Catholic Church thing. I think it’s a Parish thing.”

Reached by phone, Father Butera said that things change and he couldn’t have people in the building at night any longer.

“It’s not an eviction because they never paid anything,” he said. “Things change unfortunately. I don’t have a janitorial service at night any longer so I no longer can have people using the hall at night during the week. I have no one to lock up and turn off the heat…I should think they would be thankful I let them have it for three years. I never charged them anything to do it.”

Fortin said it’s been a struggle reviving the Cub Scouts, and the same can be said for the hard work of Boy Scout leader Dan Kurtzer – a former Revere scout who earned his Eagle Scout several years ago.

He said they have already been talking with St. Mary’s Church on Washington Avenue and will likely begin meeting there. He also said he wants to start a non-profit Friends of Scouting group to help the troops find a welcoming home.

Until something more permanent is found, they’ve been making do – such as holding their annual Pinewood Derby in the City’s Recreation Department, which is a little too small.

“It’s been a struggle getting people involved in scouting because families aren’t doing scouting as much as they used to,” he said. “Not all of our kids are members of St. Anthony’s, but some were. Even then, you would think the church would open its doors to kids because when they get older, if they have a good experience in scouts at the church, they might be inclined to give the church a try based on that experience. It all just doesn’t make sense to us.”

Father Butera said maybe it’s best to rotate churches throughout the City.

“It’s sad,” he said. “I hope they find a church that will let them use its hall for three years. Maybe they can go to another church for three years after that and just rotate. Things change.”

  • Frank DeAngelo

    When my sons were growing up it was always a struggle to find activities that we could all do as a family. Scouting was the perfect answer. Scouts promote honor, respect, family values and their motto that I still try to live by, “Do your Best”. Apparently the children of Revere and their future is not a priority for Father George. He is more concerned with that cheesy flea bag market that they have on Saturday mornings. The more father George talks in the interview the more lame and pathetic he sounds. He says things change. Perhaps the Catholic church should change and allow priests to have families so that they could appreciate how difficult it is to find wholesome activities that they can put their children in. Father George does not own the church and does not have the right to have the final say. It is the parishioners that contribute to the church that should have the final vote on this matter. I vote YES for the Cub Scouts and their families and vote NO for Father George.

  • ButeraStinks

    This priest seems real friendly no wonder attendance is down. What a prick. He should be lucky the church has supported his lifestyle all these years. Perhaps he found that he was unable to control himself amongst so many young boys?

  • Our kids matter

    It’s too bad that this regime that currently represents St. Anthony’s Church in Revere has lost sight of the goal. A strong community begins with the children. It is not whether or not there should be more storage space for the flea market. The Father was misguided in his efforts to please. Too many strangers? What, in the Flea Market or in Bingo?A better stance would have been to give the opportunity for the Boy Scouts of America Troop 15 and the Cub Scouts Troop 15 to at least find the space were they would be welcomed with open arms instead of a poorly written eviction notice threatening property retention which the church has no right to, and no need to keep unless those items would also end up in the church’s thrift shop. This is about the children. Many leaders, business owners, contributors to the community and Presidents our our fine country were Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts at some time in the past. They are our moral compass and believe in the credo “Do Our Best” more than anyone could imagine unless they were a Boy Scout. It is a sorry day to see a leader of the church turn out such a fine organization to the street with no where to go. After all the hard work that these young men and boys and their Troop leaders have put into this endeavor to keep Troop 15 alive and well, I feel truly sorry for the parishioners of this church that they have no say in what goes on in the place where they pray and support spiritually and monetarily, instead being led around the nose by tyrants who do as they please, not as they say. A very sorry day in Revere because our kids matter most of all.

  • anita lynn

    Father George really needs a lesson in what Jesus is all about, honesly where did they find that guy?

  • Zerowolf

    Ask some of us good folks up at St. John the Evangelist in Beverly about Father B. Have we got some stories to tell you….

  • Discusted

    Just another example of the Catholic church not policing their priests.
    I would like to hear what Bishop Sean P. O’Malley has to say about this if anything. I think people should email Bishop O’Malley and demand that he get to the bottom of this. Then again church leadership has a history of sweeping problems with priests under the rug. You can contact the Archdiocese of Boston at
    http://www.bostoncatholic.org/About-The-Archdiocese/Contact-Us.aspx?id=262

  • GodofHellfire

    The Boy Scouts Inc. are not worthy to be in Catholic Churches. Thank you, Father, for your wise guidance.

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