Makati youth make Stations of the Cross ‘more reflective’
Devotees pause to pray while doing the Stations of the Cross up the Tabor Hills in Talamban, Cebu City on Holy Thursday, March 24. SAMMY NAVAJA
By Niceforo Balbedina
March 21, 2018
A Makati-based youth ministry thought it best to add a minor twist to the traditional Stations of the Cross prayers by aiming to inspire deeper reflection through symbolic and meaningful dynamics.
The Parish Youth Ministry (PYM) of the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart (NSSH) in Makati City offers Interactive Stations of the Cross where the faithful are given activities that are designed to lead them into more personal reflection, “allowing a deeper connection with Christ’s journey.”
In a CBCPnews interview, PYM-NSSH assistant youth coordinator Gjian Carlo Gallano said the ministry started the “Paglalakbay” Interactive Stations of the Cross in 2016 initially as a special activity for Year of Mercy pilgrims who visited the parish.
“Per station, after one prays the usual prayers of the Stations of the Cross, you will do a symbolic act which gives more meaning to the celebration of the season,” he said.
At the 2nd station, for example, where Jesus receives the cross, the faithful are encouraged to place on their shoulders actual crosses stationed nearby to better enter into Jesus’ suffering. At the 11th station, where Christ is nailed to the cross, church-goers will be given pieces of paper where they will write their sins and which later on, they will attach to a giant cross.
For Gallano, the Stations of the Cross practice is “a way for us to show our love to Jesus” and is a “reminder that behind the challenges we face, Jesus is with us.”
“We should find time to devote ourselves to this activity… Jesus is always with us, he suffered as we did and he died as we died to ourselves, but He does not end in Good Friday. Jesus tells us that there is an Easter Sunday,” he added.
‘Perfect time to reflect’
According to PYM-NSSH Youth Ministry coordinator Kristina Abundo, the said activities were inspired by similar Stations of the Cross activities in a church at the Bonifacio Global Centre in Taguig.
“This is a perfect time to reflect on how God works in our lives, and if we are really able to respond to the blessings He has given unto us throughout our lives,” she stressed.
The Paglalakbay Interactive Stations of the Cross is open to all Catholics and Visita Iglesia-goers starting Holy Thursday on March 29, from 9:00 a.m. to midnight until the afternoon of Good Friday on March 30.
The National Shrine of the Sacred Heart is located at Kamagong Street corner Sacred Heart (formerly Dao) Street at the San Antonio Village in Makati City and is open on Holy Thursday from 5:00 a.m. until midnight.