Cross atop St. Joseph Old Cathedral to be illuminated again for the first time in decades

OKLAHOMA CITY - Soon, a bright light will shine in Oklahoma City once again.

We're talking about the cross atop the historic St. Joseph Old Cathedral in downtown Oklahoma City. It has not been lit in more than 60 years.

"It's a way to say 'This little light of mine will shine' and to draw people to the cross of Christ," said Reverend M. Price Oswalt.

Oswalt has been at St. Joseph Old Cathedral for nearly four years. But, as a lifelong Oklahoman, he knows just how historic and precious a landmark it and its cross - both built in 1904 - are.

"That was one of the first things that probably illuminated the downtown skyline," he said.

The church, which now sits next to the Oklahoma City National Memorial, was heavily damaged in the bombing of 1995. Its walls still show water damage from the years its roof sat - desperately needing repair.

At the time of the bombing, both Oklahoma City and the church were nothing like they are now.

"It was very small, it was very decimated and downtown Oklahoma City in 1995 - it wasn't a good place to be," Oswalt said.

Oswalt said they recently made those much-needed repairs to the roof - but, while that work was being done, crews noticed the lights by the cross and had an idea to redo the lighting.

After some generous donations - the idea turned into a project.

"So, it will be really neat to be able to finally re-illuminate the cross after it's been kind of dark and quiet for 60-some-odd years," Oswalt said.

Equipped with white LED lights in the front and back along with colors around the perimeter, the cross will be illuminated to reflect the holidays and seasons.

"It's a way to illuminate the darkness of the world and to say the cross of Christ is a bright, shining beacon in the darkness of our world," Oswalt said.

Shining light on a piece of history in an ever-growing and ever-changing downtown Oklahoma City.

The cross will be illuminated after a St. Valentine dinner following mass at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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