More Than 1,000 Walk “The Way of the Cross”

STAMFORD—“We adore you O Christ and we praise you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world,” chanted more than 1,000 faithful in the Good Friday Stations of the Cross as they processed through the Cove section of Stamford.

The procession began in the mid-morning mist shrouding Cummings Park as it looks over Long Island Sound.

Members of the youth group of St. Mary and St. Benedict-Our Lady of Montserrat parishes led the parade in white cassocks, while others carried wooden crosses as they processed to St. Mary Church.

“As we prepare to walk the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross, let us call to mind our sins and ask God for his mercy,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano to begin the 14 Stations.

With prayer and song alternating between English and Spanish, the faithful walked through the older city neighborhood with Stamford’s corporate towers in the background, stopping to pray the Stations.

“Perdona a tu pueblo, Senor,” the faithful sang, acknowledging their sins and asking for forgiveness, as the walked slowly down Soundview Avenue, with many people coming out of their homes and lining the sidewalk to join them.

“Were you there when the crucified my Lord,” the men and women sang reverently as they moved between Stations.

At each station, Fr. Gustavo Falla, Pastor of St. Mary’s, led the Padre Nuestro, Ave Maria, Gloria (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.” ) He was joined by the parish’s parochial vicars Fr. Jose Abelardo Vasquez and Fr. Jose Jesus Montoya, as the took turns leading the prayers.

At the Sixth Station of the Cross (Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus), the song and prayers of the men and women were punctuated by a twittering of a flock of birds and the train whistle sounding at its approach to the nearby Metro Station.

Along the way Fr. Falla asked the faithful to prayer for vocations, Church unity, tolerance between people and for the Stamford Police and all those who work to keep the community safe.

After the 14th station, which was read on the front door steps of St. Mary’s, Fr. Falla noted that the historic Church was celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and asked all present to pray for the families who went before them.

“Let us pray for those who came and built this Church so we as Christians may continue to benefit from their work. May all who have lived and worshipped and contributed rest in peace.”

Bishop Caggiano completed the Stations of the Cross by reading the closing prayer.

“I complain of my sufferings. My mind is bogged down by the poverty , sickness starvation greed and hatred in the world. There are many innocent people who suffer so unjustly. Do we understand that you continue to carry Your cross in the minds and bodes of each human being?

“Teach me the lesson contained in my Cross, the wisdom of its necessity, the beauty of its variety and the fortitude that accompanies even the smallest cross,” the Bishop Prayed.

Photos by Amy Mortensen