When Bishop Michael F. Burbidge traveled to the Knights of Columbus field and club on Friday, June 24, his mind was set on sharing time and prayer with young men trying to discern what God wants from them.
He didn’t know that the day would end with a pleasant surprise that connected the past with the future.
Knights from the Father Thomas Price Council presented Bishop Burbidge with the cross that, more than 50 years ago, sat atop the steeple of the Holy Name of Jesus Chapel, which was part of the orphanage built by Father Price in 1898. (Father Price was North Carolina’s first native-born Catholic diocesan priest.)
The new Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral is being built on the same Nazareth property that was once home to the orphanage and chapel. The shared name and location carry special meaning for the diocese.
At about 40 inches tall, the cross is a simple wooden piece. It’s worn out by decades of exposure to elements such as sun and rain. Jim Shaughnessy, council treasurer, explained that it was the late John Norkus who rescued the cross from the rubble after the chapel was demolished in the 1960s.
“He brought the cross here,” Shaughnessy said. “Now, with the cathedral being built and under the same name, we thought it was time to give it to the bishop.”
Grand Knight Leo Minervini handed the cross to Bishop Burbidge at the end of the dinner, which was for those attending the Vocation Invitational.