New crucifix at St. Anthony
By Kitty Conley email@example.com October 8, 2013 12:24PM
The Rev. Tony Janik blesses the new crucifix at Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point with the assistance of Deacon William Sayre. | Kitty Conley/Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2013 11:54AM
CROWN POINT — It took the efforts of many people to replace the crucifix that had been a part of the Franciscan St. Anthony grounds for over 50 years.
On Oct. 4, Franciscan priest and hospital spiritual services director, the Rev. Tony Janik, blessed the new crucifix and the garden that surrounds It.
The blessing took place on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, which is also the 150th anniversary of the founding of the order of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.
Janik prayed, “Father, we honor this cross as a sign of our redemption. You willed the cross of your Son to be the fountain of all blessings, the source of all grace. In your goodness be near us who have raised this cross as a sign of our faith. May we always hold fast to the mystery of Christ’s suffering and enter the joy of His risen life who is Lord for ever and ever.”
Shilling Bros. in St. John donated the wood and Tonn and Blank Construction assembled the cross, once again the corpus was provided by the Knights of Columbus, and Lakeshore Landscaping of Valparaiso installed the garden and pavers that surround the area.
This area of hope and meditation for those coming in for services of the hospital and also for those that work there became complete as Janik blessed the crucifix and garden.
Five members of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Honor Guard stood in honor of the blessing. Knights present were Jeffrey Gadbois, Craig Hanuison, James Premeske, Richard Ortman and Dennis Conley. They represent different Knights of Columbus 4th Degree assemblies.
The Knights of Columbus were responsible for the raising of seven large Crucifixes around the county over 50 years ago. They have been led by Premeske in restoring and repairing them.
Tony Englert, the regional executive director of the Franciscan Alliance Foundation, praised the sisters, reminding everyone that none of this would be possible without them.
Sister Aline Schultz, who is the representative here from the motherhouse in Mishawaka, attended the blessing.
The original crucifix that had been at this site did not start there. It had been erected at 93rd and Broadway by the Knights of Columbus in 1958 and then in 1960s was moved by the Knights to stand in front of the old White House Nursing Home on the corner of Court Street and Franciscan Drive. As St. Anthony Medical Center grew it was once again moved by the Knights to stand in front of the Admittance Office on the south side of the complex.
In November 2012 the wood of the cross deteriorated and the crucifix fell forward, shattering the corpus or statuary representing the Body of Christ. According to Sr. Aline the wood of the cross was infested with insects and was eaten from the inside out.
When that happened hospital president David Ruskowski was constantly getting calls as to what had happened to the cross.
“The cross was very special to all of us,” Ruskowski said as he thanked everyone that made the replacement possible. He added, “As we bow before the cross, let us remember that in His own blood Christ has removed all divisions and out of the many nations created the one people of God.”