SHU Knights of Columbus to Carry Crosses to New Haven

News Story: January 1, 2009

Sophomores Sam Dowd, left, and Paul Carrier will carry the crosses that they constructed to New Haven during Holy Week.  To view more photos of the construction, click here.

On Monday of Holy Week, April 6th, two Sacred Heart University students will literally take up their cross and carry it 21.7 miles to the city of New Haven. Paul Carrier and Sam Dowd are leaders of the University’s Knights of Columbus Council 9251, and they are responding directly to the invitation of Jesus in the Gospel of St. Mark: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

A sophomore Media Studies major, Sam Dowd explains that for the SHU students, the journey will begin at the Fairfield campus and will follow a fairly direct route to New Haven. It was there in 1882 that the K of C was founded. The world’s largest Catholic lay fraternity, the Knights of Columbus was established by Father Michael McGivney while he was an assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Parish; it is there that the Holy Week procession will end – in time for the noon Mass on April 7th.

Dowd notes that he and Carrier will each bear an 80-pound cross for the entire journey, pausing to spend an over-night in East Haven at a K of C Council. Each of the approximately 21 miles will be dedicated to a special theme touching on three overriding concerns: the Church, the nation and Sacred Heart University. He said the pair hope for and would welcome supporters from the University and elsewhere to join them on their way. Dowd admitted that he has never walked 21 miles straight – let alone while carrying an 80-pound cross – so he plans plenty of training in the months leading to this undertaking.

The crosses were to be constructed with donated wood in a campus-wide event on Saturday, January 31. Each will stand eight feet high and will be four feet wide. For further information, contact Sam Dowd at or Paul Carrier at

To watch a video of Sam and Paul's journey by Media Studies major Mike Ohrenberger, click here.