(La Porte, IN) - A Good Friday religious tradition resumed this weekend. A live Stations of the Cross took place in the streets of La Porte near St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The annual observance, which was canceled last year, is organized by La Porte’s Hispanic Catholic community.
Close to a hundred onlookers followed Jesus on his path to Calvary. Up and down B and C Streets, Roman soldiers jeered and whipped, women cried, and Christ bore it all patiently, until he was crucified in the church parking lot.
Fr. Nate Edquist, who narrated the procession, says the visual impact of the event helps people relate to their faith. "Re-enactment and visuals are appealing to us, and they stick with us, and they keep us grounded to the mysteries of our faith," he says. "So this is our way of storytelling, re-enacting once again what happened two thousand years ago. Re-enactment has a profound impact on the people. When you have the visuals, and the people experience it, it leaves a deeper impact."
Edquist says participants spent the past six weeks preparing for Friday night’s performance They learned their parts, memorized lines, and prepared costumes and props, including three life-size crosses for Jesus and two thieves.
After the outdoor procession, people gathered in St. Joseph's Church for a Spanish tradition called the Pésame in which the body of Jesus is laid in the sanctuary, and people console his mother, the Virgin Mary.
Friday's Passion play had a sad ending. But, as Fr. Edquist reminds us, it has a sequel. It’s called the Resurrection.