Bishop Mark Hagemoen was one of those carrying the cross through Saskatoon streets on Good Friday morning. (Photos by Kiply Lukan Yaworski)
By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
After a three-year hiatus because of pandemic restrictions, the downtown outdoor Good Friday Way of the Cross returned April 7 to Saskatoon.
Pilgrims of all ages and from many backgrounds followed the cross through the downtown, praying and singing as community groups led prayers and reflections at each of the 14 Stations of the scriptural Way of the Cross introduced by St. John Paul II during his pontificate.
Reflections united the passion and death of Jesus Christ to the suffering, injustice and issues in our world today.
At the first station, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, Nadia Stadnyk, justice and peace coordinator at the Ukrainian Catholic Parish of Dormition of the Mother of God, and Zorianna Maliarchyn, newcomer from Ukraine addressed the question “How can we remain with our new Canadian neighbours in their hour of need.”
At the second station, Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested, Rick and Jacquie Block, regional representatives for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank reflected on “Betraying those who go hungry and a Christian response.”
At the third station, Jesus before the Sanhedrin, Sarah Warman and Kathleen Carter of Servant Partners Canada reflected on “Moving from rejection to welcoming and belonging for those faced with homelessness.”
At the fourth station, Peter denies Jesus, Michael and Julie LeBlanc of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada addressed the question: “Do we deny or turn a blind eye to the daily struggles of those in the developing world?”
At the fifth station, Jesus is judged by Pilate, Catholic Women’s League members of the diocesan CWL executive reflected on how “women are handed over every day to be sex trafficked in our society.”
At the sixth station, Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns, Majak Mapaiour, Senos Timon and other representatives of the People Bridge Advocacy (PBA) reflected on “Failing to recognize Christ amongst us can lead to false stories and accusations about our neighbours.”
At the seventh station, Jesus takes up the cross, Climate Justice Saskatoon representative Sr. Sylvia Obrig, NDS, and Marie-Jeanne Will reflected on how “Through the cross of Christ, we are grounded to creation.”
At the eighth station, Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross, Philomena Ojukwu and Peter Oliver of the Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan and Tina CLayton of St. Paul’s Hospital Palliative Care team reflected on “Accompanying Christ amongst us through palliative care.”
At the ninth station, Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, Religion and Culture U of S graduate student Mykan Zlipko reflected on “If Christ can be nailed to a cross, what evils can be committed throguh war, and how can churches build a kingdom of lasting peace here on Earth?”
At the tenth station, Jesus is crucified, Fernando and Jorge Carrillo of St. Mary Parish Hispanic Catholic community reflected on “Innocent Christians as a threat to the state.”
At the eleventh station, Jesus promises his Kingdom to the good thief, Rubina Bhatti of Canadian Aid to Persecuted Christians reflected on “Innocence of persecuted Christians.”
At the twelfth station, Jesus on the cross near his mother and his disciple, Executive Director Dee Cook and representatives Anne-Marie Hughes and Maureen Smith-Windsor of Saskatoon Pregnancy Options Centre reflected on “Who is left standing at the side of pregnant women?”
At the thirteenth station, Jesus dies on the cross, representatives of the Knights of Columbus, D’Arcy McGee Fourth Degree Assembly read the scripture and asked the crowd to observe a time of silence.
At the fourteenth station, Jesus is placed in the tomb, Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen and Sacred Heart Chaldean Catholic Church representatives Deacon Yunan Yalbir and Paul Aziz provided the final reflection and blessing.