A sunny Good Friday afternoon in Centralia, around 50 people walked through Centralia and south-central Centralia, making 14 stops to pray and to celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The trek began and ended at Centralia’s Holy Spirit Catholic Church but other churches and faiths were represented.
It was Mandy Clare’s first time walking in the 13-year tradition. “It really lets us get a feel for what happened to Jesus,” she said when why the event appealed to her. “it brings me closer to him and the real meaning of Easter.”
This helps us understand what Christ’s life was like then,” said Dave Holsinger, long-time member of Holy Spirit’s congregation. “I think this, walking the stations of the cross, gives us insight into the passion of Christ and the need for it. Doing this, walking the stations, brings you back to earth. It really reminds you of what is important.
On the other end of the spectrum, James Benson, newly converted to Catholicism, agreed with the essence of what Holsinger said.
“Absolutely, as a new convert to the Catholic Church, to me it was symbolic to the walk Christ took to his crucifixion.” Participating, he said deepened his belief. “Yes, the walk definitely strengthened my faith.”
And his perspective.
“All the struggles I have in my life, in comparison to Christ’s, it makes my struggles seem minuscule, insignificant.”
Benson said he would be back next year. “Absolutely,” he said. “I expect members of my family will be participating as well, next year.
One thing Benson noticed was the variety, range of the ages participating. “Grandparents, little children being carried by parents, it struck me as a demonstration of faith,” he said, noting for example parishioner Lois Rohl, rolling along with the group in her car because she could no longer walk the distance.
Referring to the tradition of walking the stations of the cross, Benson said: “This is the gift Christ left for all of us to understand the sacrifice he made, and for each of us to be able to do so if we are called.”