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Sept. 27, 2010

Contact Rochelle Potaracke, FSPA, at 608-782-3334

DEDICATION OF CELTIC CROSS IN MEMORY OF REV. TOM O’NEILL AND SAN DAMIANO CHAPEL MASS SET FOR OCT. 17

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Viterbo University will dedicate a seven-foot tall hand-carved Celtic cross by artist Alec MacCrea in honor of the late Rev. Tom O’Neill as part of a special program and Mass scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 17 at San Damiano Chapel on campus.

At 11 a.m. weather permitting, those attending will gather in Assisi Courtyard and process into the chapel after a brief program that includes a blessing of the cross. Monsignor Bernard McGarty, Viterbo’s Visiting Scholar in Ecumenical Studies, will preside.

Fr. O’Neill, who was a popular and respected presence on campus, died of cancer last year on Sept. 2, having served the university for 15 years as vice president of mission and ministry.

According to Rochelle Potaracke, FSPA, the ceremony and Mass will be special for a number of individuals.

“Everybody is welcome to attend. Many members of the La Crosse and Viterbo community attended Mass or other ceremonies presided over by Fr. Tom and he is missed.” Sr. Potaracke said. “The Celtic cross is a wonderful symbol of what we remember as he was very proud of his Irish ancestry and his commitment to the priesthood.”

The cross was created by New York artist Alec MacCrea, who is well known for his creative work in what is commonly known today as Celtic art.

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