Church damaged by lightning replaces fallen cross

- A Minneapolis church damaged nine months ago in a severe storm was once again made whole.

Tuesday, a large crane hoisted St. Helena's new limestone cross, weighing some 900 pounds, and then set it atop the 75-year-old south Minneapolis church building.

Parishioners gathered around to watch the high altitude masonry.

"I'm in the construction business, so it was interesting to see,” said Jim Hileman, a church member. “The reconstruction is moving along. It's been less than a year since the catastrophe."

Last September, a massive lightning strike obliterated the original cross, shattering it into pieces on the sidewalk below.

From day one, the church set out to re-build the four-foot tall cross just as it was. The broken pieces, some drone footage, and an old hand-sketched blueprint found inside Saint Helena were all that were needed for the replica carving.

To the parishioners, it means a lot to have the familiar sight back.

"We don't have a large steeple, but it is the highest point,” said Mike Petruconis, the church business manager. “It's where your eyes go when you look at the church. Nice to see it back."

The cross was carved out of Indiana limestone in the state of Indiana.

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