Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright, is inviting individuals and families from across the Hunter to join him on Sunday 6 April from 3pm as he leads the annual Ecumenical Way of the Cross in the grounds of the St Joseph’s Conference Centre at Kilaben Bay.
The Way of the Cross or “Stations of the Cross” follow Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection, with students from Catholic primary and high schools within the diocese acting out the scripture for each of the fourteen stations, and typically sees more than 200 in attendance.
Hosting the event is Toronto and Morisset Pastoral Coordinator, Sr Anne Moylan rsj, who believes the grounds of St Joseph’s Conference Centre at Kilaben Bay give extra resonance to the journey through the stations.
“The setting here at St Joseph’s is just natural beauty – lots of trees, the sounds of birds, the lake in the background, the fallen twigs and leaves. It can all be seen as a sign of dying and rising – the Easter message and the presence of God is before us here,” Sr Anne said.
Sr Anne also believes the involvement of students in dramatising the final moments of Christ’s life and his resurrection adds something very special to the Way of the Cross.
“Each school brings its own powerful message in the way they interpret the particular event in Jesus’ life. By doing this they take us right into that memorable journey with Jesus – we see, hear, listen and feel and hopefully experience something we can’t fully explain.”
Passages from Pope Francis’ Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) will be read out at each station.
Diocesan Vice-Chancellor of Pastoral Ministries, Teresa Brierley, believes that the words of Pope Francis will encourage an even more personal encounter with Jesus at this year’s Way of the Cross.
“It is my hope that those who gather at the Way of the Cross will leave with a renewed commitment to reflect the joy of the Gospel in the ‘stuff’ of their lives,” Mrs Brierley said.
A picnic will take place in the grounds prior to the commencement of the Way of the Cross and people are encouraged to enjoy the beautiful surrounds with family and friends before the 3pm start.
The Way of the Cross will proceed regardless of weather conditions; an alternative undercover area is available onsite.
Who: Bishop Bill Wright, senior diocesan representatives and more than 200 people from the community.
What: The Ecumenical Way of the Cross
When: Sunday 6 April, 2013, 3.00pm
Where: The grounds of St Joseph Conference Centre, 140 Wangi Road, Kilaben Bay (near St Joseph’s Church and School).
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