Last month parishioners and friends gathered at the new prayer path at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Egg Harbor Township, for its dedication and official opening. The prayer path is the result of an Eagle Scout project by Vito Acosta, Troop 254, Mays Landing.
At the dedication, Father John Vignone, pastor, and Vito thanked the many people who contributed their time and effort for the path’s creation.
“For years we have been talking about doing something with this section of land. Last May, Vito came to Sister Dot (Urban) and I, and the result of all his work in leading this project has made this a beautiful and useful addition to our church community,” Father Vignone said.
Last summer Vito began talking with Father Vignone and his Scoutmaster, Don Bayconich, about creating a prayer path on a wooded area by the Parish Life Center.
The work involved removing brush and dead trees, designing the path, spreading stone, making and posting plaques and posts, making benches and a large cross and planting flowers. He reached out to St. Katharine Drexel Knights of Columbus Council 12868, as well as local businesses and professionals, and obtained donations of products and services for the project.
A professional tree cutter was needed for the removal of several large dead trees, and Will Saduk of Longwood Tree Service donated his services. Lowe’s and Home Depot of Egg Harbor Township donated materials to build the posts, large cross, and 10 benches. Michael Gardner of Homeworks, LLC, and Scout Leader John Alioto and Dan Weeks volunteered time to assist in using the necessary power tools.
Vito’s friends, including Chance Sechrest, Jack Gardner, Eric Weeks, Jaden and Ethan Alioto, and brother, Enzo, helped to build the benches and make the plaques. Eastern Signs and a local mill also helped with making the plaques. There are 15 plaques along the prayer path, an introductory plaque and the Stations of the Cross.
Atlantic County Rental of Egg Harbor Township donated the use of a brush cutter which Vito’s father, Edgar, used to clear the path.
Old Cape Recycling donated stone screening for the path and American Demolition of Egg Harbor Township donated its truck to deliver the stone to the church.
Troop leaders Donna Hare and Dr. Weeks donated the weed barrier, Joe Smith (a family friend) donated screws, Troop 254 scouts and parents gave of their time and skills and the church and Vito’s grandparents donated flowers.