Last updated: February 19. 2013 3:33PM - 637 Views

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The wooden crucifix that had overlooked the Scared Heart Cemetery in Dupont for decades has fallen, a victim of the wicked winds of Hurricane Sandy last week.

The concrete statue of Jesus, attached to a wooden cross, was not damaged, but structure will need to wait until spring to be repaired.

The cross is attached to a large concrete statue of the Blessed Mother, Mary Magdeline and St. John the Apostle. That structure is on a stone base. The entire work overlooks the grave of a longtime former church pastor, the Rev. Chester H. Kolakowski, who was pastor from 1938 to his death in 1971.

The statue is more than 75 years old, said the Rev. Joseph Verespy, Sacred Heart pastor.

The cross didn't fall off completely, Verespy said. It bent at a 45 degree angle. But it had to be removed for safety concerns.

Tim Stonikinis, of Dupont, a general contractor and parishioner, will coordinate the repair.

The 8-foot cross will spend the winter in storage in the church's garage. It is made with 4-by-6 pieces of dark stained hemlock. The base is six feet high.

All the statues are made of concrete with an auto paint finish. The cross is supported with cast iron plates.

We'll have to disassemble the base somehow, pull it apart and remount the cross, Stonikinis said.

He said when the original work was built, the timber went several fee into the base. But after it was renovated several years ago, the cross was bolted to stainless steel plates and went into the statue 8 inches.

But the wood continued to decay, he said. All it took was a big breeze.

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