St. Mary’s Walking Trail
Our Walking Trail is ¾ of a mile in total walking distance, and at this time features a gravel surface. The trail begins at Venerable Michael J. McGivney House (329 Vermont Ave.), to which it returns after making a loop. Please feel free to park anywhere near this entrance.
Please observe the following guidelines while using our trail:
- the trail is open from dawn to dusk,
- use the trail responsibly and respectfully,
- promptly report any safety or security concerns to our parish office,
- comply with any verbal instructions given to you by our parish staff,
- possession of tobacco products is prohibited on school days from 8 am to 3 pm,
- do not interact with uniformed students of our school, and be aware that the school playground and soccer field are both restricted areas on school days from 8 am to 3 pm,
- clean up after pets and keep them on a short leash, and
- have fun and stay fit!
Features of significance to our parish along the trail route
First, the trail passes the Parish Office Building and the Parish Assistance Building. The Assistance Building includes both the White Elephant Thrift Store and the Saint Joseph Food Pantry. Between the Assistance Building and the Oak Ridge Turnpike is our Community Garden.
The next feature is our Memorial Bridge, dedicated to the memory of all the deceased Dominican Sisters, lay catechists and other teachers and support staff who served the educational needs of the children in our parish school since 1950. Continuing along the turnpike, the trail eventually turns towards Saint Mary School, founded in 1950.
The trail then loops around the Our Lady of Oak Ridge Peace Statue, dedicated by Bishop Adrian of Nashville in 1958 as a symbol of hope during both the international Cold War and the national movement against Jim Crow segregation. The trail then passes in front of the original school gymnasium, which was used as the parish church in the 1950’s.
The trail then arrives at Saint Mary Church, dedicated in 1962. It is a Catholic custom to make the Sign of the Cross when passing in front of a church, a custom which you may wish to observe. Near the cornerstone of the church is a small garden dedicated in memory of the victims of abortion.
In front of the church is our columbarium, in which are buried the mortal remains of many of our departed parishioners.
From here, the trail returns to the turnpike, where it completes the loop and returns you to McGivney House.