The Lusophone Scouts Group of Macau (GELMac) formally welcomed more than two dozen new members on Sunday with its annual Scout Promise ceremony. The ceremony celebrated by Father Eduardo Aguero took place in the Church of Our Lady of Carmel in Taipa.
The most-awaited moment of the Scout year began on Saturday with a night vigil and ended on Sunday with the investiture of the new members. In total, 21 children and youth and a new Scout Leader became full-fledged members of GELMac. “Twenty-two members of the Lusophone Scouts Group of Macau were invested in the Promise ceremony: eight cubs, ten explorers, three pioneers and a Scout Leader,” Nélson António, the head of the group, told O Clarim.
The investiture of the new entrants is a sign that the Scout movement in Macau is experiencing a good moment. In the last two years, the number of members of GELMac has been growing steadily, a trend that seems to anticipate a bright future for the Lusophone Scouts movement in Macau. Nélson António pointed out, “In the last two years, we have witnessed a gradual increase in the number of our members. The group currently constitutes 75 members, an increase of 12 percent compared to last year.” “We currently have a stable number of Scout Leaders, and the increase in the number of children and youth allows us to anticipate good prospects, keeping in mind the future development of this project,” the head of GELMac asserted.
Over the weekend, the ceremonies, which reached their climax with the investiture of the new members of the Lusophone Scouts Groups, began with a vigil called Velada d’Armas at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady. Velada d’Armas has its roots in the Middle Ages and was adopted by the Scout movement.
“In medieval times, knights prepared for their investiture by holding a Velada d’Armas, a vigil. They would spend the whole night in prayer and reflection, begging God for the gifts of strength and faithfulness, so that they could serve in the expansion of the kingdom of God and in the defense of the weakest and the most vulnerable. At dawn, these knights were invested,” explained Nélson António. “Currently, the Catholic Scouts also hold a prayer vigil on the eve of the Promise ceremony, during which they ask the Lord for strength to be faithful to the pledge of allegiance that they will make or renew the following day,” the head of GELMac added.
The Velada d’Armas took place in the Cathedral, while the Promise ceremony took place in the Church of Our Lady of Carmel, Taipa.