By John Heuertz
Special to the Catholic Key
Founded in Italy in 1954 with a special charism of service to young Catholic adults, “Communion and Liberation” is an organization of Catholic laity that calls itself a “friendship open to everyone.” Its’ purpose today is to remind the world of the living presence of Christ in the Catholic Church.
The Stations of the Cross devotion retraces the Lord’s Passion and Death on the Cross from Pilate to Christ’s tomb. It recalls in a public way Christ’s love for all humanity. Ultimately, the devotion traces itself back to daily visits to the scenes of Christ’s Passion, death and burial by Mary, his Immaculate Mother – and the perfect Catholic laywoman.
Thus, for a Catholic lay group to promote the Stations of the Cross is a match literally made in Heaven.
Communion and Liberation has organized a public Stations of the Cross in Kansas City to start this Good Friday, April 18 at 4 p.m. in the Cathedral and process through downtown from there.
About eight stops of prayer, song, sacred reading and a short reflection are planned at prominent locations including the Kauffman Center and the Sprint Center.
Around 40 people attended last year, said organizer Fiona Holly of CL’s Kansas City chapter. This year’s event is the group’s second event in Kansas City.
“We don’t usually do all 14 stations,” Holly said. “We decided to have our own Way and to invite people in the community to participate. What we do depends partly on the group.”
Communion and Liberation has sponsored public Stations of the Cross for many years in New York, Chicago, Washington and a host of other cities here and abroad. The CL chapter at Benedictine College in Atchison is planning its own Stations for Friday, April 11.
“I think that the Way of the Cross tradition dates back to the beginning of our movement in Italy,” said CL member Daniel Musso, Executive Director of the Center for International Education at Benedictine College.
“Then someone got the idea to do it across the Brooklyn Bridge when we got started in the United States, and it quickly became a tradition.
“Mainly it’s a way to witness the presence of the Lord in the world. And what represents a more significant act of love of the Lord for us than to die for us?”
“The Stations of the Cross is a thought-provoking and prayerful devotion,” Holly said. “Basically, what appealed to me the most when I got involved with CL at Benedictine is that it’s a very direct participation in the Faith. I think CL really draws you into participating in the life of the Church in a way that is very real and very profound.
“It really makes you look at your life and see where Christ is in your life. You see if He’s an add-on or a part of your life that is there every moment of every day.
“It helped me see that Christ is not just in my life when I go to Mass or pray the Rosary. He can be in every other area too.”
Contact Fiona Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this event.