An Inter-Church Spiritual and Lenten Pilgrimage

Lent is a time of spiritual pilgrimage. Our readings during Sunday Liturgy reveal that Jesus is always moving to the people or with the people. We find Jesus deep in prayer in the desert, moving among angels as he combats the devil in his tricky sneaky ways. (Spiritual strength training is warranted when salvation of a people is the goal.) We find Jesus climbing a mountain with Peter, James and John providing revelation and a sense of spiritual laser surgery for transformation. We see Jesus who travelled to a well with the Samaritan woman so that she could be uplifted in faith. She in turn goes out and proclaims Christ as an uplift for her people. We see Jesus who did not pass by the blind man, and not only did Jesus give that man sight but Jesus gave him some dignity, too. We see Jesus travelling to the place of the Skull; Mount Calvary where the hand of God is positioned in a posture of deliverance. Jesus has stepped out from eternity so that he may achieve in our time an eternal accomplishment – our salvation.

Commemorating the Stations of the Cross is an age-old tradition in the Catholic Church and is seen as an opportunity to be on pilgrimage with Jesus. Its history comes out of the Holy Land. During the Turkish occupation of the Holy Land in the late Middle Ages, when pilgrims were prevented from visiting its sacred sites, the custom arose of making replicas of those holy places, where the faithful might come to pray. One of the most popular of these devotions was the “Stations of the Cross,” which were imitations of the “stations,” or stopping places of prayer on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. By the late 16th century the 14 stations as we know them today, were erected in almost all Catholic Churches. (This reference of history comes from a segment of the foreword written in the “The Way of the Cross” composed by St. Alphonsus Liguori. Copyright 1977, Barton-Cotton in Baltimore)

So let us go on pilgrimage and sojourn with Jesus through the “Stations of the Cross.” Let us step out of our comfort zones and travel with Our Lord and Savior during this precious time of Lent. Let us travel with Jesus and his people who yearn to walk in his ways. Let us go on a spiritual pilgrimage experiencing the Way of the Cross and visit the sacred places along the journey. Let us pray and ask questions and explore our spiritual and cultural journey in the Catholic Church. Let us accept the personal invitation by Christ to grow and pray and search for deeper understanding so that we may also say with conviction, “I have been to the mountain top and mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

We will journey with Christ through the Stations of the Cross and then reflect on several questions Jesus posed in Scripture. The reflection segment will discuss history and issues that impact black Catholic life.

This is our Journey from 6 to 8 p.m.

The first stop was St. Matthew, Northwood on Feb. 26. The second stop was St. Ann, Baltimore, on March 5.

The third stop will be St. Edward at Poplar Grove and Prospect streets on March 12. Sharon H. Winchester will explore the question, “Do You See Anything?”

The fourth stop will be New All Saints Church at Liberty Heights and Eldorado avenues on March 26.Father Donald A. Sterling, pastor of New All Saints will explore the question, “Who Do You Say I Am?”

For more information call 410-625-8472.

Therese Wilson Favors is Director of the Office of African American Catholic Ministries.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.