San Gabriel Mission rededicates restored crucifix


On Good Friday 77 years ago, parishioners dedicated the installation of a large crucifix inside the mission courtyard. But on Dec. 1, a windstorm knocked down a large branch of a Eucalyptus tree, breaking the the 77-year-old monument to Christ.

"It's significant because on this Good Friday, we Christians believe that the body of Christ Jesus was broken, but out of love for the world, and so we're celebrating that love today," said Father Steve Niskanen.

Parishioners worked with the community to get the crucifix back up, putting in 150 hours of work in the past four months.

"This is a historical moment for everybody, the community here, to see this. For me, I'm very honored because this is a church we attend," said parishioner Josie Espinosa.

The cross was first installed to honor the thousands of Tongva Indians buried on the grounds. The San Gabriel Mission was founded in 1771. It's the fourth oldest of 21 missions in California.

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