MARMORA – The Church of the Resurrection on Sunday dedicated a new walking trail featuring the Stations of the Cross built by a local Eagle Scout candidate.
Tyler Williams, 17, of Ocean View, said the narrow trail behind the church has been used sparingly over the years by some runners, and he always wondered how far back it went. When it came time to do his Eagle Scout project he approached the church to find out, and see whether he could build a Stations of the Cross trail.
“I saw a similar trail when I was visiting my cousins in Maryland and I thought it would be a great idea here,” he said. “This was a little running trail, but not well maintained. Most people never knew it was back here.”
Williams started planning the project in October of last year. He and fellow scouts from Troop 79 in Seaville cleared the trail and then used wheelbarrows to move 60 tons of crushed concrete there over a couple weekends this summer. They also installed a white garden arbor at the entrance to the path.
The main part of the trail, about 600 feet long, features 14 Stations of the Cross, with benches interspersed throughout. The crosses are each about 5 feet high, with a bronze sculpture and dedication plaque affixed. There is also an outer loop of the trail without Stations of the Cross that is about 600 feet, Williams said.
Monsignor Father Joyce, pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish that includes the Church of the Resurrection and St. Casimir Church in Woodbine, blessed the trail after Mass during a short ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 16. He said he hoped it would be a place for peaceful contemplation in all seasons.
Williams said he raised more than $5,000 from donors to cover the cost of the project. He waited until the plaques recognizing donors were finished and put on the crosses until holding the dedication.
“They completed just about everything in June, the beginning of July, but he had to have dedication plaques made for the people who donated money,” said Williams’ father, Tim, an assistant scout master with Troop 79. “He wanted to wait until they were all up.”
Tim Williams said his oldest son, Jacob, put up new flag poles in front of the church two years ago for his Eagle Scout project.
“Father Pete has really gotten the troop to do some work,” he said.
Tyler Williams said he still has to finish the project workbook, which he will submit and then go through his Eagle Scout board of review. A Court of Honor will be held sometime after that, he said.
Williams has been in Boy Scouts since kindergarten, and this is his 11th year in scouting. He attends Cape May County Technical High School.
The walking trail is just the latest addition to the grounds at the Church of the Resurrection. A large outdoor pavilion was recently completed south of the church, and preparations are underway for a new steeple to be installed. Workers put in new wooden beams in the church roof to support the steeple on Oct. 15.
Troop 79 is organizing a Red Cross blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18 at the Seaville fire hall. The Boy Scouts of America BaySea District also plans a fundraiser 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24 at the Wildwood Convention Center, during which it will honor Distinguished Citizens of the Year Mayor Martin Pagliughi of Avalon, Lynda Pagliughi, and James Bennett.