By David Karas | Correspondent
Members of St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft, can now visit refurbished Stations of the Cross in the parish prayer garden, thanks to the careful planning and hard work of a young parishioner.
William Dean, an 18-year-old senior in Communications High School, Wall, was talking with pastor Father John Folchetti about what he could do for his Eagle Scout project.
“Over the summer of 2018, I was looking for a way to benefit my parish through my Eagle Scout Project,” he said. “When speaking with Father John about how to help the parish, he mentioned that St. Leo’s had Stations of the Cross from an older church that weren’t being used.”
Dean suggested refurbishing and reinstalling those Stations in the parish prayer garden, and Father Folchetti was supportive.
“My goal with the project was to provide an accessible area for members of the parish to appreciate these Stations,” Dean said. “Hopefully the location of the Stations allows parishioners to take time out of their day to appreciate them.”
After that initial discussion last summer, Dean worked diligently to plan every aspect of the project – from securing funds and volunteers, to determining a schedule for the project. And he was supported by a volunteer crew of 14 youth and eight adults who lent a hand to bring the project to fruition.
“When completing his Eagle Scout project, a Boy Scout must use an outline that helps determine what materials are necessary, who will help with the project and how the project will be completed,” Dean explained.
He has been a Boy Scout since he was in the first grade, and admits that it is “a bit strange” to have reached the final stage in a journey he has been taking for a dozen years.
“It’s very fulfilling,” he said.
So far, Dean said the feedback he has received about the project’s outcome “has been overwhelmingly positive.”
For Dean, the project took on additional significance because it benefitted his parish community. As a practicing Catholic, he said, “I try to live up to those standards every day.”
“To me, Catholicism tells me that there is a path to follow in life and even if I fall off that path, I can be forgiven and am encouraged to get back up and continue towards Christ,” he said. “My parish helps me know that I am not alone in this struggle and that I can go to others for guidance on both personal and religious matters.”