Click below link to watch the story behind our 45 foot crucifix over looking the Prairie
Proclaiming our Catholic identity 45 feet over the prairie:
Why a Crucifix? The Crucifix Spire was designed to proudly proclaim the Holy Family Shrine's Catholic identity to the public, and to draw pilgrims in from the highway.
Symbolism: We die with Christ in the tomb and rise with him in the chapel. He leads us out into the landscape. We follow him, carrying our crosses into the world and reaching out to others. The Crucified Christ will now face the interstate to embrace pilgrims and travelers with the sacrificial love of Jesus.
Crucifix Spire Specifications: The Cross, made of stainless steel tubing, is approximately 40 feet tall (one foot for each day of Lent), and weighs 2,820 pounds. The figure of Christ is just over 8 feet tall, made of cast bronze, weighing in at 528 pounds.
Process: The Cross was fabricated by Nebraska Welding Ltd. out of stainless steel tubing and plate. It was suspended on it's side by giant cranes, rotated on it's axis, cut and welded together. The figure of Christ was made by Michael Montag, using the lost wax casting process. It is a process whose origins are lost in the cellars of antiquity with a few modern twists. A cast bronze sculpture is made three times, first in clay, then in wax, and finally in bronze. There is a series of different types of molds that transform the shape of the sculpture from one step to the next.
The sculpture is cast in many pieces into bronze at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is then assembled by welding together the individual pieces like a huge 3-D jigsaw puzzle. Finally it is given a color treatment called a patina. The ornamental base was made by Enterprise Pre-cast, and the Engineering was done by Rupprecht Engineering Inc.
The Celtic circles have rings and spirals with no beginning or end. These three rings are seen as a portal into the infinite Spirituality of the Trinity, the Holy Family, and the Domestic Church. They form a likeness of a monstrance, magnifying the Body of Christ.
Stainless steel is the razor's edge of modern art and technology. It trumpets the relevance and the dynamism of our church in the modern age.
Bronze recalls the staff of the Bronze serpent that Moses held up in the desert so that all who looked at it could live (Numbers 21:4-9). In the same way, as it says in John 3:14-15, “so the Son was lifted up so that all who look upon him with the eyes of faith might be saved.”
Donors: This amazing crucifix was only possible because of several major donors: the owners of Nebraska Welding and an anonymous donor in memory of Helen Urzendowski Coulter and Mary Urzendowski.