Walking the Stations of the Cross before Easter has been a tradition in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle for over 50 years.
This year, various diocesan groups and four schools (St Pius X, Adamstown, St Paul’s Rutherford, St Joseph’s Charlestown, and St Joseph’s Aberdeen) acted out each station accompanied by reflections.
Traditionally, the scriptural way of the cross has been used, but this year St Oscar Romero Way of the Cross, written by Fumiaki Tosu, was chosen. Romero’s life was lived courageously, as he risked everything to follow Jesus. At each station of the cross, reflections from Romero’s homilies and public addresses mirrored the journey that Jesus took.
Bishop Bill said, “Having some of those words of Oscar Romero at each of the stations made us able to see that Jesus, like Romero, was suffering the lot that is there for those who stand with the poor, or the oppressed or the outcast and confront the ruling voices of their worlds. Romero’s words helped us reflect on Jesus, and Jesus’ sufferings help us reflect on the world around us.”
Taking time to reflect in moments such as the Way of the Cross, ideally leads to action. For Bishop Bill, the treatment of asylum seekers and the homeless came to mind.
“Here in Newcastle and around the Hunter we have got what seems to be a growing number of people who are homeless, which in many cases points to them being poor and unable to access important services,” Bishop Bill said.
“On a broader level we need to look at the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers who are vulnerable because, they are not us,” Bishop Bill said.
Participant Kate Lloyd spoke of the importance of gathering as Christians.
“It was great for the community to come together in the lead up to Easter and reflect on what Jesus went through. It was also wonderful to see so many schools and parishes take part, standing together in harmony,” Kate said.