Light in the Darkness Cross

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From an Idea to Finished Product

Every fiscal year, Mary’s Millennium contributes thousands of dollars and hundreds of service hours for worthy charitable causes in our parish and community.  Last year was our largest year to date.   Money from our dues only funds a portion of those expenditures, so we need to raise the additional funds through various events and projects.  We are grateful to all parishioners and business sponsors who support us each year.

Several months ago in one of our monthly planning meetings, two of our new Knights, Robert Perri and Louis D. Neri, brought forth an idea to raise needed funds for the upcoming fiscal year.    They suggested that we build a wooden cross which could be used outdoors year-round.   They presented the design and approximate costs, and the planning committee gave them permission to build a prototype.

The Cross - Light in the DarknessAt our next planning meeting, Robert Perri brought the completed prototype to our planning meeting. He and Louis had planned the design, figured out supplies needed, and had the complete plans to present to the committee and the entire council for our business meeting. The council approved the purchase of supplies for the initial quantity of crosses.

Louis’s son, Louis M. Neri Jr., is Senior Project Manager at Parenti & Raffaelli Ltd. The Neri family has been involved in woodworking for years, and it was their knowledge that helped this vision come to life. But, their knowledge was only the beginning of their contribution to our project. The company donated the lumber, set up the project in their workshop, and cut all the materials for our initial order of crosses. We are very grateful to them for this generous donation.

Click (here) or Image Above to Download “The Cross – Light in the Darkness” Order Form


If you attended mass at St. John’s in June, you’ve seen the prototype on display next to the main church building.  Even before the wood was cut and delivered to us, we created an order form and began socializing  “The Cross – Light in the Darkness” after masses.   The interest was high, and  we had orders for several crosses.  We anticipated the first deliveries would be in late June or early July.  We met that deadline.

Assembly Time

There are several steps involved in creating the cross.  The wood pieces needed to be assembled,  sanded, and routed.   Multiple coats of primer and high gloss outdoor paint were applied next.  The hardware, including solar lights, needed to be assembled to finish the project.

We would need a place to construct the crosses.   Wally Niemczyk checked with the parish office, and was able to have a tent put up on the church grounds.  Despite the hot and humid temperatures on June 15th and 16th, several Knights worked for hours assembling and painting enough crosses for our initial orders.  The project moved indoors the week of June 24th to finish the painting.   Wally put the finishing touches on them in his garage.  Of course this meant hauling the materials back and forth several times.  A HUGE thanks to Wally for all his time and efforts on this project to date.

We’d like to thank the other Knights that helped on this project to date as well:  Frank Esposito, Robert Perri, Louis D. Neri, Richard Zych, Chuck Graziano, Gary Pappin, Jerry Huinker, Tom Witt, Mark Arient.

More Help Needed:  We will have additional crosses to assemble, so if you can spare an hour or more, let Wally or Robert know.

Once again,  thank you to Robert and Louis for bringing the idea to the Council, and for all their work bringing the idea to life.   We know that those who purchase the cross will have many years of use of this high quality product.  We’ve looked around, and there is nothing like it available anywhere else.   Order yours today by completing the form and bringing or mailing it to the parish office.  Contact info is on the order form as well.