Student cross to ‘witness’ citywide

  • September 21, 2011

TORONTO - It was a triumph of the cross at Neil McNeil Catholic High School.

A seven-by-five-foot cross that was built and designed by two of the east-end school’s students and teachers has been chosen to travel to each of the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s 201 schools over the next two years.

The cross is part of the board’s celebration of “The Year of Witness,” the third year of the board’s pastoral plan focusing on “Word, Witness and Worship.”

The board invited all schools to create a cross for the celebration and chose the cross by Neil McNeil.

“It is our hope that these moments with the cross will provide an opportunity for our students, staff and families to reflect on what it means to bear witness to our Catholic faith,” said TCDSB Chair Ann Andrachuk.

Grade 11 student Andrew Brooks-Metcalfe said he’s “excited” about the school’s cross being chosen. It’s extra special because he’s an altar server and the cross will be at the school Mass on Oct. 27.

Technology instructor Joe Ferro and student Clinton d’Silva also worked on the design and construction of the cross.

The wooden cross is mainly made of pine, but also oak and ash. It is stained in different shades of brown to give it a unique look, said Technology Department head John Scalpello.

The team used a milling machine to emboss the school crest and TCDSB symbol on the cross’ stand.

The journey of the cross will be documented on the TCDSB’s web site ( The journey began Sept. 14 after an official blessing at the Catholic Education Centre.

The first school to host the cross was St. Brendan Elementary Catholic School in Scarborough.

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