Peterborough Way of the Cross puts youths’ faith out in the open

By 
  • April 13, 2011
The diocese of Peterborough’s seventh annual Way of the Cross will take place on Good Friday. Above, an actor portraying Jesus carries the Cross surrounded by Roman soldiers during a previous walk.Peterborough, Ont. - The faith of Catholic youth in Peterborough, Ont., will be out in the open during Good Friday’s seventh annual Way of the Cross on April 22 with a re-enactment of Christ’s Passion.

“It’s a way of evangelizing in a unique way,” said Mary Helen Moes, program manager for youth for the diocese of Peterborough and director of this year’s re-enactment.

“They’re certainly not pushing their faith on top of anybody. They’re just demonstrating their faith in a very public way and I don’t think there’s many opportunities for that any more.”

Run by the diocese of Peterborough’s Vocations, Evangelization and Youth Office, the Way of the Cross has about 100 youth participating this year, up from the 30 participants of seven years ago when it originated, said Moes.

The original idea came from the youth themselves.

“As the new ones come in, the older ones still really want to be part of it,” she said. “We have kids that are in universities across Ontario now and they’re coming back… It’s like a big homecoming in a lot of ways.”

The Way of the Cross will begin with a prayer service at the Cathedral of St. Peter-in-Chains at 10 a.m. Following the service, the procession will travel to Immaculate Conception Church. The procession will stop at each intersection along the way for a station, with the last four stations being observed on the steps of Immaculate Conception Church. Taizé music will be sung by a choir before and after each station.

There has been a strong response from the community, said Moes.

“It’s remarkable how people come out of their houses into the streets of Peterborough and they’re lined as if it were the St. Patrick’s Day parade,” she said. “It’s really amazing.”

Emma Fair, a Grade 11 student at Wayside Academy in Peterborough, will be playing the role of Mary this year. She said she joined for the third year in a row because it’s a good way to spread the Catholic faith.

“We all enjoy doing it,” she said.

“And it’s definitely helped me to grow in my faith.”

Likewise, Moes said the young people have helped her to grow in faith.

“They’re the ones that are putting in the dedication and the time to do this,” said Moes. “It’s their idea and their passion to put it on. I’m just very honoured and humbled to be assisting them.”

For more information, contact the Vocations, Evangelization and Youth Office  at (705) 749-0330 or see www.veyopeterboro.org.

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