To Be Moved as We Move
All that We Have: The Stations of the Cross at Saint Julie Catholic Church
Published on March 5-6, 2016 in the Parish Bulletin of Jesus Our Savior Catholic Church, Morehead KY
For several years, fourteen plain wood crosses graced the walls of Saint Julie Catholic Church in Owingsville, Kentucky, marking the spots where the faithful would pray the Stations of the Cross. These were Greek crosses (crosses with arms of equal length) that were seven inches tall and seven inches wide that were fashioned by Deacon William R. Grimes (born 1944) from dark cherry wood to complement the frames of the stained glass windows and the rest of the furniture in the sanctuary.
This Lent of 2016, bas relief images of each station were mounted onto these wood crosses by Deacon Grimes. These stations came from the now closed Saint Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Elkhorn City, Kentucky, which was a mission of Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Pikeville, Kentucky, from 1985 to 2015. Each station is a square brass panel in a silver tone finish, measuring 3.5 inches in height and width and marked with a roman numeral on its top. The design of these images, incidentally, is the same as those of the Stations of the Cross that hang on the walls of both the chapel at Saint Claire Regional Medical Center and Jesus Our Savior Catholic Church in Morehead, Kentucky.
The devotion to the Stations of the Cross began with the pious pilgrims who would walk the Way of Sorrows or the Via Dolorosa (also known as the Via Crucis or the Way of the Cross) in Jerusalem. They would pause along the way to recall and reflect upon the chief scenes of Christ’s passion and death. Those who were unable to make the actual pilgrimage to the Holy Land eventually built replicas of these stations in their own Churches and for centuries the Franciscan friars were responsible for promoting this devotion and erecting and blessing stations.
Those of us who pray the Stations of the Cross recall the Lord’s demand: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Lk 9:23; cf. Mk. 8:34). In walking the Way of the Cross, we the faithful, as we move from one spot to the other and recall every step and stop of the Lord, hopefully are also moved emotionally and spiritually by the Lord’s tender love and the patient suffering that He endured for our sake on this very same path. His own Way of Sorrows then gives us the very example that we are called to follow in our pilgrim lives as we respond to His command to carry our crosses every day.