Year of Mercy: A New Girl Scout Patch Program

Mercy. We love the idea of it, but it’s hard to practice consistently.

Bring home the idea of a “Year of Mercy” to your scouts with this new patch program from the National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire. This just-released patch program helps Girl Scouts of all ages connect with ways to live out mercy in our lives during what Pope Francis has called “A Jubilee Year of Mercy.”

Girl Scout patch program for Jubilee Year of Mercy | Catholic Committee on Girl Scouting

What is a Jubilee Year of Mercy? 

I’ll admit it. Even after 40 years of Catholicism, I still get tripped up by some of the nuances of our faith. But the idea of a focus, or re-focus, on loving and serving others, even those we struggle to feel like they “deserve it,” is awesome.

I love this description by the National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire:

The practice of a jubilee year has ancient roots in the Jewish tradition, as found in the Old Testament (for example, see Leviticus 25). The jubilee year was called every fifty years and was:

  • a time for forgiveness
  • a reminder of God’s providence and mercy
  • a time for the entire community to come back into right relationship with one another and with God.

As the practice of the jubilee year was adopted into the Catholic Church, these themes of mercy, forgiveness, and solidarity continued.

So what do we do?

Here’s the great part. If you’re Catholic and living your faith, you are well on your way. If you’re not Catholic but living a Christian lifestyle, you’re likely hitting on many of these too!

In short, your scout will:

  1. Learn about the Year of Mercy.
  2. Learn about the Gospel of Mercy (the Prodigal so, the lost sheep, etc.).
  3. Learn about the Devotion to Divine Mercy.
  4. Learn about and live the Works of Mercy. They will learn about the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and create a service project around that.

Find detailed requirements here.

What is the Devotion to Divine Mercy?

Mercy is a theme that is re-energized throughout Christian history, probably because we need it so much! We need this message of Divine Mercy, that whatever our shortcomings, if we turn to God, He will accept us in open arms. And, just as important, we are instruments of His mercy within our relationships and the world.

If you’re new to the Divine Mercy chaplet, which is mentioned in the requirements, it is a series of short prayers that Saint Faustina helped increase in popularity. Personally, I find it a very restful prayer in times of personal stress.

You can download full requirements for the Year of Mercy patch program.


Want more ways to mix your faith with scouting?

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17 comments

  1. I do have some knowledge of the year of Jubilee, although, if I’m being honest, I’ve forgotten most of what I knew about it. I’ve found this post most educational. I don’t have a scout in my life but you definitely expanded my knowledge today and thank you for that.

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  2. I love setting a foundation of mercy for our children-girls. Maybe if we start them young it will become second nature when they’re adults and teaching them will help reinforce it in us. I never heard of the year of Jubilee but I think we all should adopt this idea and continue it in our walk every year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is great! I used to love years of Jubilee in the catholic church they really did help to bring in a certain focus for a while so that we could grow deeper in our relationship with God.

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  4. I didn’t know that the year of Jubilee was still practiced. I am only familiar from OT. And to see if be part of a scout badge is pretty cool. We don’t scout, but that is something to consider as my daughter gets to an age scouting might be something she would like to do.

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  5. Neat idea. We had two girl-scouts and I did not know about this year of mercy patch–what a great ideal! Of course, as a dad, I’m not as up to date on all of the new Girl Scout happening. I do however, really like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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