With the completion of a new Stations of the Cross path at St. Anthony’s Parish in Lakeland, 15-year-old Max is one step closer to becoming an Eagle Scout. The pathway was a dream of St. Anthony pastor, Father Val DeVera, to give parishioners and students a prayerful space to reflect on Christ’s passion. Despite warnings about the scope and expense of the construction, Max did not hesitate to take it on.
“We are very ecstatic with what Max has accomplished as this is not a normal Eagle Scout project,” said Max’s mother, Ginger. “He went far beyond what would be considered a normal Eagle Project. We always told Max to think and dream big and always do the right thing.”
Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is the pinnacle for any Boy Scout. Less than 4% ever complete the arduous commitments required, one of which is to plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or the community. Taking on the Stations of the Cross path as his project would prove to be challenging as the path. The path spans 140 feet x 8 feet across and is made of more than 790 pavers weighing thirty pounds each. Max sent letters to friends, relatives and neighbors and spoke during Masses to gain support. He reached out to local companies and requested donations. The community rallied behind Max’s enthusiasm and worked together to make the project a reality.
“I’ve been involved with many similar projects, but nothing of this magnitude,” said Russ Young of Flagstone Pavers. “This was incredible!”
Max organized the scouts in his troop, friends, and some skilled craftsmen to complete the final phase of the project on Saturday, April 17 with the installation of the pavers.
“I had some doubts if I could finish the project,” admitted Max. “The project was so large it required many hours of work, donations of pavers, expertise and financial support. Everyone had to work and come together perfectly. Thankfully, God was watching over my project.”
“We couldn’t be more proud of Max and what he has done in scouting and for his church,” said Ginger. “The long path to Eagle Scout is almost over. The bigger path of life, is just beginning for him.”
By Elizabeth Wilson, Florida Catholic correspondent – May 15, 2019