Outdoor Stations of the Cross service helps people make a connection with Christ's sacrifice

Joan Kurkowski-Gillen

North Texas Catholic

Bishop Michael Olson leads the Outdoor Stations of the Cross on Good Friday with approximately 200 participants. (Photo by Joan Kurkowski-Gillen)

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Fort Worth landmarks and clear, sunny skies served as the backdrop for an outdoor Stations of the Cross service led by Bishop Michael F. Olson on Good Friday morning. Approximately 200 people turned out for the event held annually on a grassy median bordering Lancaster Avenue near St. Patrick Cathedral and the historic downtown post office.

The public Good Friday service is a tradition the newly-ordained bishop hopes to continue.

“I think it helps all of us in society to remember what the Good Lord did for us and the invitation He gives us to share in his cross,” the bishop told the North Texas Catholic as motorists drove by. “That’s not exclusively a private or indoor matter. It’s something that should be shared in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.”

Using a version of the Stations of the Cross introduced by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991, the crowd recalled the Passion of Jesus Christ with help from placards held by members of the Knights of Columbus. As participants moved from station to station, passages read from the Bible created a mental image of the road to Calvary.

“It ties our traditional memory of Jesus and his crucifixion with what is actually in Scripture,” said Deacon Don Warner, explaining the John Paul II adaptation of the Stations of the Cross. “It helps people make a connection a little more closely with what Jesus did as He carried his cross from the time He was condemned to his crucifixion.”

Susan Burke attended the service with some of her children and grandchildren. She thinks the public display of faith is a good idea.

“For many people, it’s just another day until they see something like this and realize it’s Good Friday,” says the Carrollton resident who attends St. Peter the Apostle Parish in White Settlement. “You don’t have to be in a church. God is everywhere.”

Johnny Miles found out about the morning Stations of the Cross by doing a search on the Internet. Observing Good Friday, especially this year, was important for the part-time Texas Christian University religion teacher.

“With the things going on in my personal life, I wanted to participate, in a tangible way, to the suffering of Christ,” he said. “I hope it encourages passersby to stop and reflect for a moment. Easter is not just about bunnies and chocolate.”

Fort Worth landmarks and clear, sunny skies served as the backdrop for an outdoor Stations of the Cross service led by Bishop Michael F. Olson on Good Friday morning. Approximately 200 people turned out for the event held annually on a grassy median bordering Lancaster Avenue near St. Patrick Cathedral and the historic downtown post office.

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