Most Eagle Scouts take pride in their final project and try to choose something that will impact their community. Chesterton High School senior Jacob Waters chose to build and leave a legacy with his.
Waters designed and created a 360-foot (110 meters) rosary for St. Patrick Church, which just may qualify as the Guinness Book of World Records’ largest. Currently, Guinness has the largest listed in Tagum City, in the Philippines, however, it’s only 280 feet (85.5 meters). Waters' rosary is located on the north side of St. Patrick’s rectory in the wooded area. The church is at 638 N. Calumet Road in Chesterton.
“I figured go big or go home,” Waters said. “Father Meade presented the idea to me and talked about a rosary in Knox. He was literally flabbergasted at the one we built and even said, ‘We got more than our money’s worth.’ ”
Waters feels proud to see families and parishioners in the prayer path participating in holy adoration of the Blessed Mother’s prayers, he said.
“The rosary is quite a beautiful gift and wonderful tool for us all,” said the Rev. James Meade, of SS. Peter and Paul Church pastor and former St. Patrick Church pastor. “I was hoping and praying for this Rosary for years and Jacob made that dream come true just days before I left. I often go back and it warms my heart to see people and families on the path.”
Waters said the logistics were the most challenging part of the project. He used bowling balls for the beads, many of which were donated by parishioners and a bowling alley and purchased at resale shops. Big R, in Michigan City, donated a reel of rope.
“The whole family helped,” Waters said. “My grandfather (Ron Myers) and uncle (Shawn Myers) were out there and grandmother (Sue Myers) and mom (Ronda Myers) sanded the bowling balls down and applied epoxy covering so they could withstand the weather,” Waters said. “So many of my Troop 998 members of St. Patrick Church came to help as well as parishioners. It was dedicated after Mass by Father Meade on July 1.”
Waters downplays the enormity of the project but gets a rise out of the Guinness discussions and even began to fill out an online application during his interview.
“I’m very proud of Jacob,” said Ronda Myers, Jacob’s mom. “He’s a good kid and likes to help out.”
Jacob is also quite the jokester. Recently, when his grandmother was sick with the flu during Easter, he showed up to help clean and cook in a hazmat suit to get her to laugh.