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.”