St. Pius X approaches Stations from a different perspective
by Kara Hansen
Special to The Leaven
MISSION — It’s the Stations of the Cross with a twist.
Each Friday, St. Pius X Parish in Mission will host the Stations of the Cross — just like many other Catholic churches across the country.
But each Friday the traditional Lenten prayer will be approached from a slightly different perspective.
“We wanted to get back to the richness of the devotion, while at the same time making it a tradition that is accessible to all people,” said Trish Miller, RCIA director for St. Pius.
One set of Stations, for example, will focus specifically on suffering, and will feature a reflection from a Catholic hospice chaplain. Another will address the Stations through the eyes of Mary.
Mike Debus, live-art performance painter and someone the staff has long wanted to bring to the parish, will be the featured speaker one evening.
“Our parish budget didn’t really allow for bringing him in, ” said Miller, “but we are able to do that through the generosity of the archdiocesan evangelization office and our men’s club.”
Of the six Friday evenings, Miller said, three would use the Stations of the Cross that Catholics are most familiar with. Three others will be structured around the Stations of the Cross introduced by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday in 1991.
An alternative to the traditional Stations, John Paul II’s Way of the Cross is often used in ecumenical settings, said Miller.
St. Pius X’s staff has worked to ensure the Friday evenings are tied directly into the traditional Lenten practices of fasting, almsgiving and prayer. In keeping with those practices, a simple soup supper will be hosted at the parish at 6 p.m., followed by Stations at 7 p.m.
“We’re really trying to keep it simple — from having a freewill donation that will go to a charity of the speaker of that evening’s choice, to our Green Committee providing and washing dishes so we don’t have to waste any paper dishes,” said Miller. “Dinner will be a choice of soups with some sort of bread or crackers and a salad or bowl of canned fruit.”
Miller said the parish’s hope was to make the Friday evenings accessible to as many people as possible.
“We’re not wanting to involve just our parish but to reach out to people who used to be practicing Catholics and involve them in this Lenten practice,” said Miller.
“We’re wanting to reach out to our Christian neighbors. We would love to have the people who live across the street, or the people who drive by and wonder about the gardens we have on our parish property.”
That goal includes embracing the parish’s youngest members as well, said Miller. One of the evenings includes a “Living Stations” dramaturgy. Additionally, each week children at the parish’s school of religion program and John Paul II Elementary School will be asked to participate in a fun, Lenten-themed question-andanswer activity.
“This is something we hope will pass the tradition of the Stations onto our children in a way that is meaningful to them,” said Miller.