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Trinity Heights to dedicate new stations

By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
(Email Katie)


New Stations of the Cross have been designed and placed in the outdoor cathedral at Trinity Heights in Sioux City.

“The stations have been a labor of love for over a year,” said Terry Hegarty, executive director of Queen of Peace. “I wanted to make sure the tradition continued. I think the stations are a vital part of what we have out there for people to come do the stations as they go. It is just another part of Trinity Heights.”

Bishop Walker Nickless will lead a blessing at 11:30 a.m. on May 8. He will first bless the newly-renovated St. Joseph Center and then move to the Stations of the Cross.

“He will formally bless the stations and lead any and all who wish to come along in the Stations of the Cross,” said Hegarty.

New creation

The first piece of the puzzle was finding the funding for the new stations, said Hegarty.

“We had an anonymous benefactor step forward that has been most gracious throughout the years,” he explained. “This isn’t the only project they have helped with.”

The committee helping with the decisions had a certain dollar amount they were working toward for the project. The committee members were Hegarty, Bill and Susan Determan and John O’Mara.

“We set out and contacted Dale Lamphere, Sondra Jonson and a sculptor from Illinois to see what kinds of concepts and ideas they had,” said Hegarty. “We didn’t want something out of place. We wanted something that would fit.”

He explained the benefactor’s idea was to incorporate stainless steel and bronze to go along with the other statues on the Trinity Heights campus.

“When we got our sculptors together, they presented us with concepts,” said Hegarty. “The concepts were amazingly similar but different.”

The concept the committee liked was Sondra Jonson’s, who also created the Rachel Weeping and Peter and Paul statues at Trinity Heights.

“Her interpretation of the stations was something we thought we could really work with,” said Hegarty. “She was most happy to work with us getting that done.”

Jonson’s idea needed a backdrop, so the committee explored options and suppliers. One of the Queen of Peace board members, John O’Mara, works with a company in Lyons, Neb., Brehmer Manufacturing, that specializes in stainless steel. The benefactor brought this to Hegarty’s attention.

“I think it was a Holy Spirit moment,” said Hegarty. “What a wonderful idea. That ties the whole work together. That give us our stainless and bronze.”

The next decision to make was about how to display the stations. They decided on a v-shape with a cross over the top.

“Susan came up with the idea of making it look like a book,” said Hegarty. “Brehmer made a prototype. It was pretty neat.”

The cross was cut out with a laser cutter and Trinity Heights, Queen of Peace was also cut out of every other station.

“Everyone fed off of each other and the Holy Spirit stepped in every once in a while,” said Hegarty.
Jonson brought the new stations to Trinity Heights in January. They are composed of a composite material overlaid in four layers of bronze.

“They are absolutely gorgeous and will withstand all the rigors of our Iowa seasons,” said Hegarty.

When the stainless steel backdrop arrived, it was an unfinished version. Hegarty’s part of the project was to finish them.

“That was a Holy Spirit moment also,” he said. “I have a dual orbital sander. I tried it and it was perfect. It gave us just what we wanted.”

The new stations were placed over the existing pedestals. The stations are all paired except stations 11 and 12 that are separate.

“People come up and say, ‘They are absolutely gorgeous,’” said Hegarty. “They look like they have been here all along.”

The former stations

The old stations had been donated by Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City. They had greatly deteriorated over time and needed to be replaced.

“They were truly beautiful three dimensional stations,” said Hegarty. “They were housed in a plexiglass box thinking that would protect them from the weather. It did to an extent.”

What the box didn’t protect from was condensation that collected on the inside.

“The moisture collected to the plaster figurines to the point that they literally disintegrated,” said Hegarty. “We talked with Father Lingle at the diocese and asked how to properly dispose of them. Since they were a blessed station, we needed to disintegrate them and bury them. They literally disintegrated in our hands as we grabbed a station.”

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