The Story Behind Mustard Seed Communities’ Crucifix


In the heart of Mustard Seed Communities’ headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, within the sanctuary of Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel, lives a crucifix of great significance. Envisioned originally by MSC’s Founder, Msgr. Gregory Ramkissoon, and inspired by a prisoner sentenced to death, the crucifix’s meaning resounds with the love and hope present in MSC’s mission.

The crucifix at the Chapel was forged through the collaborative efforts of an Irish volunteer and a local Jamaican welder, working to bring Msgr. Gregory’s vision to life. 

The genesis of this image traces back to a humble cross fashioned from barbed wire, now worn around the neck of Msgr. Gregory himself: it was gifted to him by a condemned prisoner, whose soul he had embraced in friendship amidst the shadows of death row.

Left: Msgr. Gregory wears the original cross. Right: The artistic rendering is reproduced widely around MSC today.

The mission of Mustard Seed Communities begins and ends with love and hope. We are “Inspired by the healing and caring Ministry of Jesus Christ” in all that we do, so that we might bring about greater “joy, hope, and dignity” to the most vulnerable. This message is carried by our crucifix as well.

In the cross’ transparent silhouette, the figure of Jesus emerges, transcendent and triumphant, symbolizing the resurrected Christ. This is juxtaposed against the stark brutality of the barbed wire cross, which embodies the universal sufferings of humanity — a testament to life’s barbed wires of fear, poverty, injustice, illness, and despair.

MSC priests each wear this rendering of the crucifix.

Jesus is the answer to this worldly suffering. In darkness, the cross stands alone, but as the sun rises, the body of Jesus materializes. It shines with a radiant glow that dispels the shadows of fear and inspires faith, hope, and love.

In this sacred season of Lent, we look to the crucifix for hope. Proclaiming Christ as the eternal Light in the midst of life’s darkest hours, the unique crucifix of Mustard Seed Communities keeps our eyes and hearts trained on the enduring power of Jesus’ resurrection. Its presence inspires our MSC Family with a transformative promise of hope.