(3 Total References)
Herald & Review Newspaper Website - Decatur, Illinois
Father Costa showing some improvement after being beaten in Springfield park
...Monsignor Eugene Costa
, 53, spoke briefly Monday with Springfield police detectives at St. John's Hospital
...Costa served as pastor of Holy Family in Decatur from 1987 to 1993.He now is chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and serves parishes in Athens and Sherman.
Park police discovered Costa
at about 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 21 on a hillside adjacent to the band shell in Douglas Park.
was taken to St. John's Hospital
in Springfield with "life-threatening" injuries, Davis said last week.
...Kathie Sass, communications director for the diocese, said many will be heartened to hear Costa regained consciousness.
could face a long recovery that may involve rehabilitative therapy, Sass said.
Cards and letters may be sent to: Monsignor Eugene Costa
, Catholic Pastoral Center
, Box 3187, Springfield IL 62708-3187.Sending flowers is being discouraged at this time.
Born in Catalonia, Spain in 1885, ...
Born in Catalonia, Spain in 1885, Costa attended the seminary in Barcelona, was ordained in San Antonio in 1911 and assigned to El Paso in 1912.
In 1924, Father Costa was assigned as the pastor of San José del Rio Parish in Smeltertown, later renamed San José de Cristo Rey after the monument was built.
The Cristo Rey peak, 4,576 feet above sea level, is said to have been a lookout for Apaches.
The original name of the mountain was Pico del Rodadero del Cerro de Muleros.
After the building of the monument, however, the parishioners at Smeltertown appealed to Washington, D.C. to change the name of the peak to Sierra de Cristo Rey.
In later years, Father Costa
said that he
got the idea for building the monument after waking up every morning to see the mountain from his
In 1933, when Pope Pius XI called on parishes throughout the world to build spiritual or material monuments to mark the nineteenth Centennial of the Redemption, Father Costa
began to visualize the erection of a cross on the peak.
The more he
prayed on it, the more he
thought the idea was divinely inspired.
On Saturday, October 28, 1933, on the eve of the Feast of Christ the King, he
and 100 parishioners, including the church's Boy Scout troop, first climbed the Cerro de Muleros.
The following day, Father Costa
preached a sermon on the subject to his
parishioners who made a vow to erect a cross on top of the mountain dedicated to Christ the King to be replaced later with a permanent monument.
The parishioners and Father Costa
first built a six-foot wide, fourmile trail to the top of the peak.
In February 1934, the parishioners placed a temporary wooden cross which was replaced within a few months with a metal cross built by students at the Smelter Vocational School
On Palm Sunday in 1934, during the first official pilgrimage to the peak, the iron cross was planted and blessed.
In 1937, Monsignor Costa met with Bishop Schuler and suggested his friend and countryman, world famous sculptor Urbici Soler, to build a permanent monument.
Diocese of Springfield in Illinois
Reverend Monsignor Eugene E. Costa relieved of his appointment as Chancellor and Planning Coordinator of the diocese and as pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, Sherman, and of Holy Family Parish, Athens, effective Jan. 9