What began as a simple request from Holy Family Cathedral pastor Father Anthony Patalano to “clean up” the Stations of the Cross for the parish’s dedication soon became a lengthy overhaul of the 14 pieces.
According to an article in the cathedral’s Glad Tidings newsletter, parishioners Jon Eric Thompson and his wife Tammy were asked to remove dust, grit and soot from the plaster pieces. The backgrounds of the stations proved more difficult to clean, so the couple decided to paint them. After two coats of gloss paint the brilliant background overshadowed the rest of the images. So the Thompsons painted gloss on a small section on one of the human figures and Father Patalano decided he would like all the Stations to shine similarly.
The outside trim was painted bronze with copper coloring on the letters so they are more visible. At each stage, tiny details further enhanced the final effect. Using copper coloring on Christ’s crown of thorns, for example, made it more visible.
The outside borders of each Station remain the original color, but the inside borders were brightened to a shiny copper. Two of the crosses at the top of the stations were broken and needed replacing. The final product was covered with a double coat of satin varnish.