Crafting Catholic Values Crosses for New Schools
Posted on 06/12/2024

At Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB), our mission extends beyond education; it is about fostering a deep sense of faith, community, and shared values. To this end, we are proud to witness a heartwarming project that demonstrates this mission perfectly. Under the mentorship of Jeff Carron, a secondary Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) consultant, our staff and students at Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School (PFO) are coming together to build SMCDSB Catholic Values crosses for our newest schools.  

The idea for this initiative originated from Steph Maher, Religious Education Coordinator, who saw an opportunity to integrate our Catholic values into a tangible project that students could take pride in. "Steph's vision was to create something meaningful for our new schools, and her enthusiasm has driven this project forward," said Jeff.

Making each cross is a labour of devotion, and a symbol of our commitment to nurture a strong foundation of Catholic values in our school communities. “Although the students have not been heavily involved in the initial stages of production,” said Jeff, “the collaboration with Brett Carron, Dave Torrie [secondary teachers at PFO], and myself on the technical aspects has been incredibly rewarding. We’ve been working with the robotic CNC router to engrave the lettering and SMCDSB logos on the crosses. Now, we are transitioning to a stage where students will actively participate, using hand routers and orbital sanders to finish the wood before staining and varnishing the crosses. The most rewarding part has been witnessing the staff and students' enthusiasm and dedication to creating these meaningful symbols for our new schools.”

But the crosses are more than just symbols; they are embodiments of the love, faith, and community spirit that we strive to cultivate in every student at every school. It's a reminder that Catholic education is not just about academics, but about fostering spiritual growth.

 As these beautifully crafted crosses find their place in our new schools, they will serve as lasting reminders of our shared journey and the values that make our school communities so special. "I hope students will cherish the sense of accomplishment that comes from collaborating on a project they helped create with their own hands," Jeff shared. "This experience not only enhances their practical skills but also instills a deep sense of connection to our school board's values. The crosses they help build will become a lasting part of our new schools, symbolizing their contribution and our collective commitment to our values."

We are incredibly proud of this initiative and look forward to seeing the crosses in their new homes very soon.

Crossbeams of crossesCNC router carving words into the woodCarved cross beamsStudent using power sander on the surface of the crossPFO students sanding down the crossesStudents brushing stain on a  wooden crossCrosses that have been sanded and stainedClose up of detailed carving of board logo