Campus-wide Stations provide Lenten reflection
Carolyn Hutyra | Tuesday, April 15, 2014
In a public display of devotion, students and faculty traversed campus last night to participate in the annual campus-wide Stations of the Cross.
Assistant director of undergraduate ministry Kate Barrett said if students have not previously participated in Stations as part of their Lenten experience, the event provides the opportunity to see “one of the oldest and most treasured ways that we as a Church throughout the world enter into Jesus’ passion.”
“Even if they have grown up participating in the Stations of the Cross in their home parishes, this is a unique way to celebrate the holiest week of the Church year,” she said.
According to Barrett, the event began 20 years ago through the efforts of Notre Dame Folk Choir director Steve Warner and Fr. Tom McDermott.
In recent years, Barrett said most of the planning starts in the winter and involves getting as many people as possible involved as readers, cross-bearers and musicians.
“The Glee Club, the Chorale and groups of trumpet players from the Notre Dame Band all help provide music along with the Folk Choir,” she said. “Typically groups of students from many halls, led by the hall liturgical or spiritual commissioners, take on the responsibility of ‘sponsoring’ the various stops along the way – so they find the readers and cross-bearers for each station.”
Reflections for the event are written by Holy Cross priests Kevin Grove and Drew Gawrych, Barrett said.
“[The reflections] are beautiful and give us a great connection to the spirituality of our founding religious community,” she said.
Over the years, Barrett said students have visited residence halls including Sorin and Lyons, academic buildings such as Bond Hall and campus landmarks such as the reflecting pool at the Hesburgh Library.
“Even when it’s really cold out, like this year, the experience is well worth it,” she said. “They may never have the opportunity again to participate with such a large group of people.”
Senior Maria Corsaro said she attended the Stations of the Cross event the past two years.
“I go to this event year after year because I think it’s a good way to connect with my faith and to remind myself of Jesus’s journey on Easter,” she said. “I think that sometimes we forget just how much Jesus went through on Easter for all of us.
“The campus-wide Stations of the Cross helps me to remember everything that Jesus suffered through. I really like the feeling of being a part of the large community of people on this journey around campus.”
Corsaro said her favorite part of the experience is the sense of community that accompanies the journey around campus with a large group of people.
“I love the sense of community that comes from so many people being together like this,” she said. “With students and families from South Bend, I really feel that everyone comes together for this event.”
Even after the Easter season, Corsaro said she continues to associate different areas on campus with the Station of the Cross she saw there.
“I think that this is something special and unique to this event,” she said.
Junior Katelyn Virga said she decided to partake in the campus-wide event for the first time this year.
“Stations of the Cross is a powerful way to honor the passion of Jesus,” she said. “It reminds us of Jesus’s sacrifice in a very tangible way, and it provides us with an excellent opportunity to reflect on the season.”
Virga said she would absolutely recommend the event to other students.
“Stations of the Cross is a moving way to celebrate your faith with others, and to ‘walk with Jesus’ in an almost literal sense,” she said. “Notre Dame is a great place to grow in faith, and Stations of the Cross is a unique way to do that.”