Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

I posted the above photo on my photo blog Cashjocky's Photo's and was ask to provide some history of the Crosses. Since the story is so fascinating and rather lengthy I decided to post it here. As the header on my photo blog states this blog is about the stories that go with the photos and on the photo blog the picture is its own story.

I live in a small rural town in the Ozark Mountain Region of Missouri. So my town is very hilly and built on various levels of carved out limestone. These crosses sit on one of the highest points in town beside the Knights of Columbus Hall. If you look closely at the photo you will notice what appears to be a small white structure on the left just above the treetops. That is our hospital and it is the tallest building in town but built on a lower elevation than the crosses.

These crosses are known as Lithuanian folk art crosses. They were hand carved by a retired Catholic priest. The Rev. Anthony J. Bukauskas was born in 1916 in Lithuania. In 1939 Russia invaded Lithuania. Anthony Bukauskas was a sociology teacher and civic leader and a year later he and many other civic leaders were sent to a concentration camp in Minsk, Russia and then to a German refugee camp. His vocation grew out of prison experiences.

Father Bukauskas was ordained a Catholic Priest on July 21, 1946 in Eichstadt, Germany. He came to the United States in 1949 and settled in St. Louis. He was the pastor of one of our local churches for the last twenty years of his career and retired in the area. Father Anthony, as he was called by his beloved parishioners, was an accomplished artist and in retirement taught art at our local collage, and founded the Mid Missouri Fine Arts Society. He died in May of 2006 and was buried in the cemetery of his last parish. He was well know for the carved Lituanian folk art crosses he created, many can be found at Catholic churches and cemeteries in the area but these overlooking my town are the most well known.

1 comment:

  1. Loved the photo of the crosses and the history was so interesting. Have a Happy Easter.


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