Today being Good Friday, our family joined other fellow Northern California Christians in Sacramento to join the Way of the Cross Procession. It’s a profoundly inspiring and moving experience from a spiritual perspective and for me, offers an opportunity to celebrate the Catholic history and identity of the state of California.
The procession route weaves through downtown Sacramento for a little over a mile with stops at the State Capitol building and grounds, culminating with the final station in front of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. There are only six stations of the cross, and at each station the procession hears gospel readings, reflections and songs. From a spiritual point of view the minor discomfort of walking (and for us, wrangling children!) along with the physical dynamic of witnessing outside of church makes this a rewarding event. It is one thing to shuffle along inside of a church doing Stations of the Cross, quite another to literally follow the cross through bustling city blocks.
Though we didn’t stop here, the procession took us near this monument to the Sisters of Mercy tucked away on the northern side of the state Capitol grounds. Did you know that the California state Capitol was built on land that was owned by the sisters? Not only that, but the sisters sold it to the state for the same price they bought it.
Another stop took us by a statue of Father. Junipero Serra, yet another reminder of California’s Catholic history. For those that don’t know, Father Serra may be canonized by Pope Francis!
This is a shot of the procession heading towards the rose garden. The mood was somber, but there were smiles. The only hostile or combative person we encountered was one bearded fellow who seemingly shook his head in annoyance somewhere near where I snapped this photo. Most onlookers were curious and I saw some state workers tap participants on the shoulder to inquire about what it is that we were doing.
Here is shot of the procession heading towards L street. Not pictured are the media folks taking photos and video footage of us. I think there is coverage on Channel 40 and KCRA if you would like to see more. if I see coverage I’ll update this post! We never made it to the final station, but we did several more than we have in previous years so for that we are grateful. Many thanks to the volunteers laity and religious alike who put time together to organize this event. If you are in Northern California I strongly urge you to celebrate with us next year. God bless you and may your Easter celebrations be filled with awe, appreciation and joy.