Want to know details about our new Cross? Building and Grounds has more information for us!
The new Cross replaces the original Cross which has stood atop our church since the completion of the present church building in 1930. (The current church hall was completed in 1926 and served as the main worship space for the Parish during construction of the main building).
The original Cross was constructed largely of tin and, while still intact, warranted replacement as it was deteriorating and had also been damaged by an earlier lightning strike prior to the installation of the lightning protection system that safeguards the current roofing systems and structures. The Buildings and Grounds Committee recommended to the Finance Council and the Pastoral Council that a new Cross made of copper be commissioned as part the cupola roof replacement/Bell tower restoration project.
Copper was chosen both for its longevity and its enduring beauty. The lightning protection aerial sits atop the cross and the related cabling is hidden from view within the hollow interior of the Cross. We have no information on the designer or construction of the original Cross, but the new Cross is modeled on – and is almost an exact replica of – the original. We will find a suitable place for the original Cross after our volunteers construct an appropriate display case to house it.
Mr. Pete Lelinski of Langer Roofing Company here in Milwaukee is the artisan who constructed the new Cross and its related components. The metal work is exquisite in its detail and execution. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is a credit to Mr. Lelinski’s talent as well as his sense of the historical import of this treasured symbol of our faith.
Father Peter Patrick blessed the new Cross at each of the Masses on July 18, and Deacon Jim Matthias reflected on the importance of the Cross in his homily. The new Cross and related components were lifted by crane over 100 feet above 55th street in the pre-dawn hours of July 20 to the top of the bell tower scaffolding. The Cross will be installed atop the cupola roof upon completion of the current roofing replacement project. Right now, the new Cross is bright and shiny, but it will gradually gain its ‘patina” as it ages and will take on the same color as the church roof.
Our new Cross demonstrates our recommitment to the foundation of our FAITH: that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins so that we would have an opportunity for redemption and eternal life. Let us pray that with God’s help and blessings, we continue to answer His call and accept the work that awaits us over the next 100 years of our Parish.