by Cori Hilsgen
Area residents will participate in living stations at 7 p.m. Friday, March 20 at the Church of St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Faith formation director Marian Bach said the living stations celebrations as they are today began three years ago at the church.
“Throughout the history of the parish, the living stations have taken place in varying forms and ways,” Bach said. “Three years ago, the desire was there to re-enact the journey Jesus traveled to Calvary and relate Jesus’ journey in our everyday lives in the 21st century in a meaningful and powerful way.”
During the past two years, people from all walks of life and ages, ranging from 4 years old to the elderly, have acted out the Stations of the Cross.
“It has been a joy to work with people of all ages,” Bach said. “I marvel at how everything comes together just after one practice time. The actors put their whole heart and soul into the portrayal.”
Parishioners of the parish and students from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University are the actors for the living stations. Parishioner Anita Reber coordinates the costumes. Many of them are borrowed from the GREAT Theatre Company.
Bach said the script and music for each station is moving because it invites those in the audience to reflect on the great mystery of God’s unconditional love for each of us.
“The living stations are very impressive and awe-inspiring,” said Mary Lohaus, the church’s faith formation administrative assistant. “I felt a deep connection to God as the actors from our parish, CSB and SJU superbly portrayed the journey of Jesus to Calvary. This experience touched me deeply.”
Several parishioners also commented on the stations.
“The living stations are a powerful meditation on the passion of Jesus,” Meg Klecker said. “Through acting, narration and song, I could enter more fully into Jesus’ suffering out of love for us.”
Husband and wife Andy and Lisa Loso enjoyed watching their children participate in the stations.
“We were honored to have our children be actors in the living stations,” Andy said. “It was a deeply moving experience for those in the audience and for our children as well.”
“The family-like atmosphere was evident as the community experienced Jesus’ journey to the cross,” Lisa said. “It was a great Lenten prayer experience.”
“The living stations have become a real experience of community, touching deeply those who participate,” Bach said. “All are welcome to the stations.”