Good Friday: Way of the Cross and Way of Peace

  • Pax Christi Metro New York

On Good Friday, 19 April 2019, hundreds of Christians will participate in the 37th consecutive Good Friday Way of the Cross across Manhattan, organised by Pax Christi Metro New York. Also known as the Stations of the Cross, this Way of the Cross/Way of Peace commemorates the torture and execution of the holiest of innocents, Jesus Christ, and mourns His continued suffering in countless people around the world today.

At these Stations, today's pilgrims will recall how Jesus' revolutionary life led to his unwarranted execution and contemplate how counter-cultural it can be if we truly walk with Him in His way of life today. They will pray for the courage to follow in Jesus' footsteps and offer this contemporary Way of the Cross as penance for their own complicity in the sins of a world that has lost its moral compass. They will enter into Christ's Passion for life driven by love. This year we reflect on how "Jesus Calls Us to Truth and Forgiveness" in every aspect of our lives.

In addition, Pax Christi Metro New York (PCMNY) dedicates the Good Friday Way of the Cross to the Most Reverend Joseph M. Sullivan, former Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn. For most of PCMNY's 37 years of organising this solemn Way of the Cross, Bishop Sullivan led the opening prayer. In 2013, he died after being struck down in a terrible car accident. This is our sixth year without Bishop Sullivan, and we continue to mourn his absence. He who once walked with us in the flesh now walks with us in spirit. We are most grateful for having been blessed with his presence all those years, and we trust that he will continue to watch over us as we carry on without him. In his place, we are honoured to have Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, lead us in our opening prayer.

The PCMNY Good Friday Way of the Cross is a procession of prayer for suffering people throughout the world: refugees and asylum seekers; people without health care; victims of poverty, hunger and homelessness; victims of bullying, bigotry, and sexual assault; victims of gun violence, militarism, nuclear weapons proliferation, and capital punishment; and those devastated by global climate change. It is a walk of repentance and hope for a better future.

The Good Friday Way of the Cross is sponsored by numerous religious organisations and individuals throughout our region and beyond. It begins at 8:30 AM across from Holy Family Church at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, East 47th Street between First and Second Avenues, proceeds along Manhattan's 42nd Street, and ends across from the Port Authority Terminal near Holy Cross Church. Participants stop along the route at 15 contemporary Stations of the Cross. At each Station, groups from high school students to veteran peace activists, reflect on Jesus' passion as described in scripture and experienced in modern times. Songs of petition and praise accompany and link each Station. At the final Station, all unite to celebrate life transformed when we follow the Way of Christ. The faithful will have turned 42nd Street into a place of prayer, reminding us that Jesus' suffering and death were public events and that establishing peace and justice is everyone's responsibility.


Tags: Good Friday, Way of the Cross, Pax Christi Metro New York

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