Boy scout helps 'old rugged cross' get new life

Boy scout restores cross

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, MICH. - On Palm Sunday in 1965, a tornado ripped through Alpine Township, Michigan and completely destroyed Holy Trinity Catholic Church. The building was leveled and had to be completely rebuilt.

Three years later, in 1968, a new church was constructed, complete with a cross sitting high atop its steeple. That steeple stood proud, overlooking the community, for nearly 50 years before it was taken down and replaced in 2015.

The old steeple cross was then placed in storage for the past two years, and it's future was unknown, until 16-year-old John Kulich came to its rescue.

Kulich, who has been a Boy Scout for the past 9 years, needed a project to elevate from Life Rank to Eagle Rank, and decided repairing the old steeple cross, and finding a new home for it, would be the perfect project.

"On August 8, I started sanding the cross, then on the 9, I put the L-brackets on the back of the cross, acid washed it, primed and painted it," said Kulich, who is about to start his sophomore year at Comstock Park High School. "I thought it would be a good project that would last a long time and I could come back and show my kids someday what I did."

Kulich, who partnered with Valley City Sign Company in Grand Rapids, arrived at the church Wednesday afternoon and spent close to two hours placing the cross on the side of the building. Once the cross was up, Kulich was thrilled to see his idea come to fruition.

"I knew this would mean a lot to the church," said Kulich. "I'm just excited and I hope this impacts the community the same way as the day when this cross went up [high atop the steeple way back in 1968]."

Kulich says getting the cross up is only phase one of his three-phase project. Over the course of the next several weeks, prayer stones will be created and positioned on the ground below the cross, and ones that's done,. the third phased will be completely re-doing the landscaping around the area in front of the cross.

All three phases are expected to be completed by October 22. A special dedication ceremony for the completed project will be held after the 10:30 a.m. Mass on that Sunday.

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