Last summer as we were fixing the patio behind the rectory, a contractor found a large copper cross in the basement. We were asked if we would sell the cross. That led to a bit of research to discover that the cross is actually the second cupola cross from our original church. Perhaps you remember that the old church had two copper cupolas, each with a cross atop.
This discovery led to a conversation about the possibility of restoring the cross and putting it back up onto the second cupola, which now is bare. Here are reasons for putting the cross back up on the second cupola. That cross is part of our tradition, part of our patrimony. What else could you do with such an important relic from our past? We certainly can't give it away, or sell it. Also, it wouldn't make sense to put it anywhere else on the campus, since it obviously fits right atop the now-bare cupola. The church leans towards preserving such items, if at all possible. The cross has laid in the rectory basement for 27 years, with nobody appreciating it.
With this in mind, the pastoral council and I discussed the topic on a couple occasions last year. In the meantime, when Grubb came out to do routine maintenance on our air handlers, which are located up in the cupolas, we had them advise on what it would take to install the cross from the rectory basement on the empty cupola. They estimated $500 (and somebody immediately offered to cover that cost). They found that the bolt holes are still in place for such an installation; and even the pigeon spikes from that cross are still stored up in the cupola, as if we have been waiting all along for this moment. Installation will be very easy. One other glitch was that the top of the cross was partially torn. Tim and Junior Reinhart of RDR Company repaired the rip in the top of the cross as a donation to the parish. In other words, reinstallation of the second cupola cross will cost the parish nothing. All of this information entered into the pastoral council discussion.
The final step was getting the Bishop's permission on the project. The Bishop was 110% behind the idea; and he even suggested we somehow tie in the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14th), displaying the cupola cross for a period of time “in order for parishioners to view the cross up close and prayerfully reflect on the Lord's sacrifice.” With this suggestion in mind, we are going to display the cupola cross in the same place where we usually have the large wooden cross in the gathering space, beginning next weekend, up until the reinstallation on the cupola – which should happen in October.
With the positioning of the two crosses – both representing the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ – over the sanctuary and over our gathering space, we can symbolize how the Cross of Christ influences both our worship of God at Mass, and then our community fellowship outside of Mass, including our encounter with guests. To shorten all of that, we could say that the location of the two crosses symbolizes how the Cross of Christ gathers us from all walks of life and leads us to Calvary.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae