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April 11, 2014

Sisters to host ‘Way of the Cross for Justice’

ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS — Adding to a tradition born approximately 800 years ago, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods will host “Way of the Cross for Justice” on Friday.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. Those interested in attending are asked to meet at the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

“Way of the Cross for Justice,” refers to the Stations of the Cross, 14 artistic renditions of Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion. People of all faiths are invited to join the sisters as they walk through the stages of the event, commemorating the Passion of Christ.

The event on Good Friday is being described as a modern day Stations of the Cross which will unite the Passion story with the justice struggles we face today.

For example, the first station, Jesus is condemned to death, could represent persons who are imprisoned wrongly in today’s world.

“We’ll focus on some issue of justice in our society today where people are oppressed,” Sister Paula Damiano said. “This is not just an historical event. There is extraordinary suffering going on in our world right now.”

Traditionally, the stations help people of all faith traditions make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, opening a space for reflection, memory and action, as they meditate upon the scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death. Walking the path of the Stations to commemorate the Passion is said to have started with St. Francis of Assisi.

Damiano coordinated the event with Sisters Mary Lee Mettler and Barbara Battista.

“We wanted to do something during Holy Week,” Damiano said, “and we wanted it to have a justice bent.”

Those attending will stop by each station and receive an explanation of it, as well as the correlation with a justice related topic. There will also be a quiet time at each station, and music will be offered.

“It’s a very reflective activity,” Damiano said, “for a deeper awareness of the connection of the life of Christ and the suffering going on in this world today. We really wanted to bring the stations to people’s lives today.”

The stations are depicted in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. There are also sculpted versions of the stations along a walkway of the grove between Owens and Providence halls.

The Stations of the Cross include:

• Jesus is condemned to death,

• Jesus carries his cross,

• Jesus falls the first time,

• Jesus meets his mother,

• Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross,

• Veronica wipes the face of Jesus,

• Jesus falls the second time,

• Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem,

• Jesus falls the third time,

• Jesus is stripped of His garments,

• The Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross,

• Jesus dies on the cross,

• Jesus is taken down from the cross, and

• Jesus is laid in the tomb.

Sometimes, a 15th station is added, the Resurrection of Jesus. This will be included on Friday.

There is no cost to attend, but freewill offerings to support justice efforts in the Wabash Valley will be accepted.

For more information, call 812-535-2952 or email

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    March 12, 2010