Council Service Program Award Winner

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 05/30/2018 Under: Council (393 Hits)    

Going to New Heights Fr. Patrick J. Cullinane Council No. 8710

During the Spring of 2017, a member of the Fr. Patrick J. Culliane council identified the steeple cross for Sacred Heart Catholic Church was deteriorating.  This issue was brought to the council, were the membership took up the challenge, and Council Project was set in motion.  Brother Knight Wally Ostrowski and his two sons Mike and Scott volunteered to determine what it would take to replace the 115 year old cross. 

New Hts program


Many challenges were encountered and overcome in the council’s quest to properly replace this very visible sign of the Catholic Faith within the community:

First how do you determine the dimensions of the original cross, when it stands 100 feet in the air?

Second what material should be used to construct the replacement Cross?

Third how to safely work on a structure without damaging the church?

Each obstacle was taken on and properly addressed in due time.  Wally was able to calculate the cross dimensions to be 72 inches tall and 42 inches across, with the post to be 6 inches wide.  These dimensions proved to be spot on when compared to the original cross, with less than 1 inch variation from old to new.

The material selected to construct the new cross was Copper Sheet metal.   This also proved to be challenging, as research was needed to determine the best methods to construct the cross out of Copper.  The team learned that fabricating the cross out of copper, required techniques and tools that were not readily available. So the Ostrowski family learned the proper techniques for soldering copper sheets and found the soldering equipment required not readily available today.  Wally searched and located the proper soldering Irons required by visiting many of the local Antique Shops.Once the Cross and supporting frame work was fabricated, the next step was to secure a man lift with a reach of at least 120 feet.  With the winter months approaching locating a man lift that was not in use was difficult.  Another Council Member, Eric West, made contact with a local farmer who was working with 150 foot man lift outside of town.  Through this connection the Lift was rented and delivered to the Church in early December 2017.

With the Grace of God, the weather held and the work was completed on a brisk Saturday morning.  The old cross was removed, new support brackets installed, and the new cross placed on top of the steeple.  Additional repairs were made including replacement of missing roof tiles and some aluminum facing provided to replace material lost in a wind storm.

With the mornings work completed, Council Member Mark Kettlewell invited the crew to his A&W Restaurant for lunch at his expense.  The council project inspired others in the parish to get involved as well; the Ladies Auxiliary contributed $1,126 dollars to cover one half of the man lift rental.  The direct material cost and man-lift rental totaled $2,589 with 145 direct man-hours contributed by Council 8710 membership. 

Going to new Heights for Our Church, Providing a shining beacon of faith for the community!