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“Living Rosary” Created for Eagle Scout Project at Holy Family

DALE CITY, Va. — Chase “Spencer” Langston decided a year ago that he wanted to help in a big way for his church, and boy did he!

Spencer (15), an Eagle Scout with Troop 857, found out that Holy Family Catholic Church in Dale City wanted a new way to teach the Rosary in its religious education program. The young Scout did some research and discovered another local church had performed what was called a “Living Rosary”, where schoolchildren lined up in the order of the beads of a Rosary and recited the prayers for each bead. To Spencer, this sounded like a perfect Eagle Scout project.

A traditional Rosary consists of a Crucifix, fifty-nine beads, and a “shield” (typically displaying an image of Mary). Each bead has its own prayer including the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Glory Be to The Father, and twenty prayers pondering the Mystery of the Faith. Catholics use this material object as an aid for saying these prayers in order.

Normally this string of beads is small enough to fit in a pocket.

Spencer took this idea and went big to help the schoolchildren understand the enormity of God’s love. His final project was an enormous 130 foot long version of the religious device.

The Crucifix was over three feet tall. Each of the beads were hewn from 4×4 and 6×6 timbers all strung onto thick rope. Spencer’s symbolism didn’t end with the scale of the project.

Each section of the project was tied with intricate figure eight follow throughs. This knot is used to tie off a Scout while rappelling and thereby holds his life. The last component, the Shield, a slab of nearly two inch thick white oak, was laser engraved with an image of Mary.

In order to involve the entire church in this Eagle Project Spencer labeled each bead with the name of a family member from the church. Spencer set up a table outside the parish and spent the weekend taking names and special messages that the parishioners wanted put on the Rosary.

He was also invited to attend the Spanish prayer group which helped him to fill the 212 spots on the Rosary. All the while Spencer steadfastly refused to accept any donations. “This is my gift to the church, I can’t take anything for it,” he repeated to parishioners eager to donate.

Spencer’s Eagle Project was the capstone to a long and arduous climb from the lowest Cub Scout rank, Tiger Cub. His nine-year journey included adventures such as whitewater rafting, rappelling, archery, rifle shooting, multiple summer camps and countless camping trips to scenic forests.

Along the way Spencer earned over 35 merit badges, was inducted in the Order of the Arrow and learned valuable skills including CPR which came into use on August 26th 2010, when he rescued an elderly man suffering a seizure by clearing his airway and leading first responders to his position.

The project will be dedicated to Holy Family’s Education Department at the Children’s Mass at 9:00am on June 13. Spencer will receive his Eagle Scout badge at a formal ceremony at 8:15pm.

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