Eighteen young people from the St. Felix/St. Francis Parish Cluster in Phelps and Clifton Springs recently hosted a Living Stations of the Cross presentation for members of the Northwest Ontario Planning Group.
The parishes in the planning group took turns hosting the Stations of the Cross and soup suppers on Fridays during Lent, and the parish cluster’s youths led the event when it was held at St. Francis on March 31. This youth-led Living Stations presentation is a parish tradition that began 11 years ago, said Jean Maslyn, one of three parents who helped start it. This year’s presentation drew about 120 people, which is the biggest crowd yet and is probably because the presentation was linked with the planning group’s program, she said.
During the Living Stations, young actors bring to life the scenes depicted in the Stations of the Cross. They do this silently, and the presentation is more like a collection of still photographs than a typical play, Maslyn said. A spotlight shines on the actors in each scene for about three minutes so the crowd can reflect on that particular station, then the spotlight goes off and the actors rearrange themselves to portray the next scene.
Keeping still and holding the same pose for several minutes is the hardest part, said Dan Tabor, 17. Tabor has played the part of Jesus for the last three years.
He enjoys participating in the Living Stations because he can see how much joy the presentation brings to those watching it.
Eleven-year-old Chris Landschoot, who played Simon of Cyrene, said participating in the Living Stations helped him feel more connected to the Lenten season. Haley Jones, 12, who played Mary, said she was able to look sad during the presentation because she imagined what must have been going through Mary’s mind.