Flashback Friday, Episode 18 - The Icon Cross

The cross in Easton Mountain's Temple
The cross in Easton Mountain's Temple

The Icon Cross was made in 2010 for the ordination of John Stasio by Bishop Brian Seaver, an Independent Catholic bishop who lives in Troy and is a part of our extended community.

The cross was designed and created by another member of our extended community, Jim Day, who patterned it after a crucifix in the country chapel of San Damiano. just outside of Assisi.

the San Damanio Crucifix
the San Damanio Crucifix

This is the place where the young Francis had a mystical vision of the figure on the cross saying to him   "Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins."  This crucifix has, on each side of Jesus, figures of those traditionally thought to be at the scene of the crucifixion.

For our cross, John Stasio prepared a collage of faces of men and women who had influenced him and who have also inspired many of those in our extended community.

Pictures from the right pannel of the icon
Pictures from the right pannel of the icon

On the right-hand side they include:

  • Harvey Milk - Gay activist and San Francisco supervisor assassinated in 1978.
  • Mary Oliver - A poet quoted in Easton Mountain's first promotional brochure.
  • Dorothy Day - Founder of the Catholic Worker.
  • Martin Luther King - Noted civil rights leader.
  • Tom Yeomans - Psychologist who has lead programs in Spiritual Psychologist at Easton Mountain.
  • Saint Maximilian Kolbe - Franciscan who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz.
  • Cornell West - African-American scholar who was Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at the Union Theological Seminary in NYC.
  • Sylvia Rivera - Gay liberation and transgender activist for whom Sylvia's Place - the shelter for homeless gay youth in NYC - is named.
  • Audre Lord - Caribbean-American Feminist poet and activist.
  • Any Goodman - Host of "Democracy Now."
  • A Zuni Man-Woman - The subject of gay liberation leader Will Roscoe's first book.
  • Roberto Assagioli - Pioneer in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology.
Pictures from the left side of the icon.
Pictures from the left side of the icon.

On the left side they include:

  • Quentin Crisp - Author of The Naked Civil Servant.
  • Saints Sergius and Bacchus - Fourth-century Roman Christian soldiers revered as martyrs and saints by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches.
  • Saint John XXIII - The pope who convened the Vatican Council in 1962.
  • Mahatma Gandhi - Martyred leader of the independence movement in British-ruled India.
  • Mother Teresa - Founder of the Missionaries of Charity, whose members vow to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor."
  • Harriet Tubman - African-American abolitionist and humanitarian.
  • Barbara Harris - First woman to be ordained an Anglican bishop.
  • Matthew Shepard - Wyoming teenager whose murder brought national and international attention to hate crimes.
  • Swami Satchidananda - Indian religious teacher, spiritual master and yoga adept, who gained fame and following in the West.
  • Ita Ford, Maura Clarke. Jean Donovan, Jean Donovan - Missionaries who were victims of  a right-wing Salvadoran military death squad,
  • Bede Griffiths - British-born Benedictine monk and priest who lived in an ashrams in South India and became a noted yogi and a leading thinker in the development Christian-Hindu dialogue.
  • Daniel and Philip Berrigan - Catholic peace activists.
  • Saint Dominic Savio - Nineteenth century student of John Bosco, canonized after dying at a young age.

These figures and the others not mentioned here represent something of the diversity of influences that have made Easton Mountain a spiritual center for gay men of all faiths.