In the past several weeks Sisters as well as nurses who were students at the Dominican School of Nursing have come to me and asked if there was any possibility that the cross on the front of the Allied Services Building could be saved and possibly put on the west side of the newest part of the St. Rose Ambulatory and Surgery Center. It was something I definitely wanted to check into, but kept putting it off until I saw that about one third of the ASB building had already been demolished.
Wednesday morning, Nov. 12, I called Mark Mingenback and let his secretary know that I was very concerned about that cross being thrown into the rubble, and what the possibilities were for saving it. Within a couple of hours I got an e-mail from Leanne Irsik saying that the cross was marble and cemented into the brick, so it was impossible for it to be taken down in one piece. However, she assured me that the pieces would be saved and could be used in some form in a possible memorial garden.
That afternoon about 4 p.m. I saw the huge bulldozer stop its work on the west side of the building and come to the place where the cross was. He “gently” hit just below the cross and the first large piece dropped to the ground. He then moved his scoop aside and allowed the little Bobcat lifter to come in and take that piece that just fell and put it in a safe place a few yards away from the building. The bulldozer did this six more times until the cross was completely removed, each time moving away for the Bobcat to remove the piece that had just fallen.
On Thursday morning I wrote Leanne an e-mail message and thanked her for the work of the “gentle bulldozer.” A few days ago I was informed that when Leanne gave a copy of my e-mail to the manager of the construction company, he decided to share it with the rest of the company and the men running the equipment. The Dominican Sisters of Peace want to personally thank the person who operated the bulldozer. We are so grateful to him for honoring the symbol of the cross which is so precious to us.
I had never seen a “gentle bulldozer” before! Watching that process spoke so powerfully to me of the love and care that we Dominican Sisters have experienced in our work with Mark Mingenback and Leanne Irsik in the downsizing. Leanne Irsik came to our Sisters two months ago and told us how they and Centura Health had studied several options for the building over the last few years and had now decided that the asbestos had to be removed and then it would be razed. They listened to our desire to have a closing ceremony before it was taken down, and that happened on Sept. 28th. Some of the rubble was put in the basement of the ASB building in place of additional filling of dirt. And then it will be cleaned up and landscaped. Already we are seeing new life come from our “letting go”! Sr. Celeste Albers