"Human life is like a great Way of the Cross. We do not have to go to the chapel or church to go through the different stations. This Way of the Cross is everywhere and we travel it every day, even in spite of ourselves and without being aware of it." Those words of our founder, Blessed Basil Moreau, are the inspiration from two new sets of Stations of the Cross compiled by Holy Cross religious.
The first is a new book by Fr. Kevin Grove, C.S.C., and Fr. Andrew Gawrych, C.S.C., who teamed up again after editing The Cross, Our Only Hope to compile and edit You Have Redeemed the World. Once again, Holy Cross religious from around the world were the contributors to the project. As Fr. Kevin explained in a recent interview with Today's Catholic, this moving set of stations draws on the daily life experiences of people from around the world and connects them with the lasts steps of Christ's life. In the process, we are all drawn to reflect more deeply on our own life experiences and through them to enter more deeply into the mystery of our salvation. For more, check out Fr. Andrew's interview on the book on the Harvest show.
The second powerful set of stations, entitled Faces of Friday, comes from the Downtown Chapel, now known as St. André Catholic Church. Beautifully conceived and written by award-winning author Fr. Ron Raab, C.S.C., the parish's associate pastor, these reflections on the Stations of the Cross articulate the raw suffering encountered daily in the parish's ministry among the homeless and the poor in downtown Portland. The stations, which include photographs taken by Andrew Noethe and can be viewed on Vimeo, the parish's pastoral associate, are some most creative and thought-provoking stations you will find. For our blog today (if you click "read more"), Fr. Ron and Andrew share their thoughts on this amazing project.
"We are confronted with inconsolable suffering every day at the Downtown Chapel," said Fr. Ron. "The Passion of Christ is visible in the faces of people suffering longterm poverty. The Stations of the Cross of Christ are written in the lives of people on the streets, among our friends with chronic mental illness and lasting addictions. These are the faces we celebrate every Holy Week in the passion, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus."
"I narrate the stories of people with deep prayer and heartache," he continued. "My voice is unable to tell their stories in detail. I hesitated to write these stories because I feared I could not do them justice. I struggled with these stories for three months. I do not want to trivialize people's stories or their suffering. "
Similarly, Andrew shared, "The time I spent creating The Faces of Friday was time spent with the Stations, with Father Ron's stories connecting the experiences of our community to Christ's Passion. I was forced to look at the Passion of Christ not as something that was suffered, but an experience that our world continues to suffer. These stories move us closer to God, because they acknowledge our collective need for God."
"I was also moved by how the staff and volunteers who became our models for each station, honored and embodied these stories, ultimately enhancing the experience that people will have watching the Faces of Friday. We remember the Passion of Christ, and acknowledge that suffering of Christ continues in our communities today. We remember Christ's resurrection, and continue to seek it."
If you would like to order a DVD of The Faces of Friday, which is recommended for praying it in a group setting, contact the Downtown Chapel at:
or (503)228-0746 x13.
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.