Wednesday, July 30, 2008


There was a lot of hoopla over the installation of a new cross at Waterbury's Holy Land this June. This is the third cross at that site. The previous cross was an enormous beacon, lit from inside at night, that dominated the skyline. If you were driving along the highway, you couldn't miss it. Thousands of people who never got off the highway refer to Waterbury as "that town with the cross."

The new cross is comparatively small, delicate and graceful. It is also very nearly invisible at certain times of day. When the light hits it just right, you have to know it's there in order to see it. Rather than being lit from within, it's illuminated by spotlights, which is certainly more tasteful than the giant glowing cross we've all been accustomed to.

The reported cost of the new cross is $250,000. That seems like a huge amount of money for something so simple. I can't help thinking about all the many quality-of-life improvements that could have been made with a quarter million dollars. A new cross seems frivolous. But maybe this is the first step in a process to at least partially restore Holy Land.

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