How Dad Helps in Vocation Outreach

by Sister Julie Ann on September 9, 2010

Dad carves Franciscan Tau Crosses for vocation give-aways.

Franciscan Sister Elaine Turba and Parents

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Elaine Turba and her parents hold the Tau Crosses her Dad carved for vocation give-aways.

Ken Turba, Dad of Sister Elaine Turba, OSF, is our Franciscan Sisters of  Christian Charity master carver tooling more than 3, 000 precious wooden crosses that we freely distribute at various family and vocation events. 

Enjoy the gallery showing some of the steps of the process.

What’s a tau cross?

Francis used the ‘tau’ in his writings, painted it on the walls and doors of the places where he stayed, and used it as his only signature on his writings.

The first recorded reference to the ‘tau’ is from Ezekiel 9:4, “Go through the city of Jerusalem and put a tau [cross] on the foreheads…”

The tau is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and looks very much like the letter ‘T’.

At the Fourth Lateran Council, on November 11, 1215, Pope Innocent made reference to the tau and quoted the verse from Ezekiel. It is widely accepted that St. Francis was present and that he heard the words of Pope Innocent III when he said, “The tau has exactly the same form as the cross on which our Lord was crucified on Calvary, and only those will be marked with this sign and will obtain mercy who have conformed their life to that of the Crucified Savior.”

From then on, the tau became Francis’ own coat of arms.

13 thoughts on “How Dad Helps in Vocation Outreach”

  1. sisterannemarielom says:

    I noticed Mr. Turba's hands… they look like they have done many tasks… and I'm guessing with a great deal of generosity and love. Thanks to him, his wonderful daughter, Sister Elaine, and to the photographer and writer for the article. I always wondered how small items like the crosses were crafted. Now I know a bit more.
    There is a great interest in the tau cross among members of the Third Order Secular with whom I work. I'm going to give them the link to this site.

  2. Sr. Elaine says:

    It is a real gift to have the support of parents and family in one's vocation. My parents have provided guidance and nurturing for many years. They are always delighted to meet more of the Sisters and help out wherever they can. God's blessings upon them and all parents.

  3. Ssharon says:

    Sr. Elaine, what a unique mission for your Dad to provide the tau crosses for many people to enjoy. Mr. Turba, thanks for spreading the Franciscan spirit far and wide and using your God-given talent. That is very intricate work. I enjoyed seeing the video and the step by step procedure. Thank YOU!

  4. Maggie Mcconnaha says:

    Those look like the exact same necklaces that we got from Camp Franciscan, are they?

  5. Yes, Maggie, they are, we were especially excited to share these crosses with all you gals at Camp Franciscan!

  6. I'm sure that St. Joseph the Carpenter, is very proud of Mr. Turba, for using his beautiful gift of carpentry and so generously sharing it with so many of God's people!

    I can attest to the wonder and gratitude of each person who receives one of the, over 3,000, Tau crosses we have shared with so many at Lifest, Camp Franciscan, Fox Valley Parishes Altar Servers Day, young women in discernment retreats,students at high schools…

    It is evident that Sister Elaine's faith and service has been nourished by her Dad and Mom's generous spirits! Thanks so much for being such wonderful examples of Franciscan Gospel living!

    With grateful prayers,

    Sister Mary Ann S.

  7. Sister Kay says:

    What a cool article and pictures. It certainly speaks for the family support many of us have experienced in our vocation journey. Thanks, Turba family, for sharing the food news with so many!

  8. Smbdorn says:

    What wonderful memories you will have of your parents,Sister Elaine. I am sure you already have great memories but this one is special. What happy expressions on everyone's face as dad does God's work!

  9. Thanks, Maggie, for being a faithful visitor to Franciscanized World. I am sure your hands are busy about many things as you begin an important school year. Peace and all good.

  10. Srosangela says:

    Mr. Turba, You are touching so many lives by making these Tau crosses. What a gift you are to all those you serve. You are using your talents as God intended. Thank you so much. We are grateful to have Sister Elaine as a member of our Community. God bless you, Mrs. Turba and all of your family.

  11. Sister Chiara says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent with us Mr. Turba. It sure is a wonderful process, and gift. I am sure they have touched many lives in more ways than we will ever know here on earth. Thank you soo much! God bless you!

  12. sisterjune says:

    Thanks Ken Turba for helping us with our Vocation Outreach.

  13. Smaryfrances says:

    I often wondered how those small crosses were made….I am impressed by your wonderful talent, Mr. Turba! Thank you for all you do and are. May God continue to bless you abundantly.

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