The Ecumenical Way of the Cross has been held in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle for over 50 years. It began in 1967 at St Joseph’s Convent in Lochinvar and remained there until 2007 when it moved to Kilaben Bay for Palm Sunday World Youth Day, in preparation for World Youth Day in Australia in 2008. This year it will take place a week before Palm Sunday, on the 7 April.
A special version of the Way of the Cross will be used this year, it is The Way of the Cross with St. Oscar Romero by Fumiaki Tosu. This version has been chosen because of Romero’s courageous choice to risk everything to follow Jesus. He invited others out of their individual piety to see the economic, political and social issues of the day.
Romero was killed by single gunshot as he celebrated Mass in 1980. He was murdered by the Salvadoran military for daring to question the system that allowed a tiny minority to have wealth and security while so many fellow Salvadorans remained poor and defenceless.
Part of the reflection says, “At Romero’s funeral, 150,000 people crowded into the plaza outside the cathedral to mourn their beloved archbishop. There, bombs exploded and in the chaos that ensued, soldiers fired into the crowd and dozens were killed. The message was clear: those who attempt to keep alive the spirit of Romero will also be killed.”
At each station, school students or groups in the Diocese will act out that moment in Jesus’ journey while a reflection and prayer is read. It is a time of prayer, silence and gathering together as a Christian community. It is always a well-attended event with around 300 people participating. Afternoon tea follows, which is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and catch up with old friends. Everyone is welcome to join for an inspiring start to the Easter season.
The annual Ecumenical Way of the Cross will be held at Kilaben Bay Conference Centre, St. Joseph’s Parish in Toronto on Sunday 7 April 2019 at 3pm. Enquiries 4979 1111.