BOUNTIFUL – Recently St. Olaf Catholic School received a special gift, a Celtic-style mission cross donated by the Dean family, which has two children at the school.
The cross was designed and constructed at Structural Steel & Plate Fabrication by company co-owner Shane Dean. He and his wife Allison, a St. Olaf alumna, had planned to donate the cross for an auction at the school, but this was cancelled because of the pandemic.
“We always wanted to have a mission cross at our facility,” said Simon McFall, St. Olaf principal, adding that he was excited when he started talking with the Deans about it.
The cross is made out of corten steel, which attains a rust-like appearance after prolonged exposure to weather.
Having heard that in former times a mission cross was placed where the Gospel was being proclaimed, Allison said she and her husband wanted to carry on that tradition.
“We wanted to share that statement with our community. That’s what Christ does; he goes out and preaches,” Allison said.
“I know that personally when you are involved in your community, you feel more a part of it. … through volunteer work or donating and contributing with what we can,” Shane said about the sentiment that led him to design, construct and donate the cross, which now stands near the St. Olaf entrance to welcome people to the school.
“Every day when a parent or a student sees the cross, it is inspirational; it’s a call from God that is in our school now,” said McFall, adding that he is grateful to have a non-Catholic family contributing to and being present at the school.
Although not Catholic, the Deans profess the Christian faith, and “the values and main teachings are the same,” Allison said.
“To have families like the Deans is what we always hope to have in our Church and in our school,” McFall said, explaining that these are the type of people who not only give, but “give with the mind of a stewardship. It is more than ever a time for us to put our faith in action. … Faith is needed. Now more than ever, we all are all feeling the stress physically and emotionally of this pandemic.”
Allison agreed, saying that “people are looking for hope.”