Parishes and schools where Viatorians serve all held Stations of the Cross services during Lent, but in at least two cases, they blended the Way of the Cross, with Taizé prayer. At both sites, it was young people who led the services — and the meditation.
The first took place March 15 at Saint Viator High School, where students involved in Campus Ministry led their classmates in following the Stations of the Cross. The entire student body was seated in a circle around the cross, draped in purple bunting and surrounded by desert vessels.
“Br. Jhobany Orduz did a beautiful job with creating the environment on the stage in the center of the gym,” says Associate Ann Perez, Assistant to the President for Mission.
After each station, student readers would light a candle, much like the candle-lit setting of Taizé prayer, and offer a moment to contemplate Jesus’ suffering and death, and how the story of the passion relates to their own lives.
One week later, young people involved in Campus Ministry at St. Viator Catholic Community, led the stations of the cross and culminated the powerful evening with the candle-lit setting of Taizé prayer. With the sanctuary cast in a purple glow, and lit by the candles, it offered a reverent setting to walk with Jesus on the way to the cross.
It was St. Viator Youth who suggested the parish host a Taizé prayer service back in 2017, after the shooting massacre in Las Vegas, and it has become an important part of the prayer life of the community ever since. The meditative service includes periods of silence with readings from Scripture, prayers of praise and intercession, and the frequent repetition of simple, contemporary music or chants based on the Psalms.
“It was a great, prayerful night,” said Associate Rosy Hartz, Faith Formation Coordinator at the parish. “I’m so proud of these teens who brought stations and Taizé together.”
These powerful interpretations of Stations of the Cross — led by young people, for young people — reaffirms the mission of the Viatorians: We minister to and with young people in the Church, and are committed to their faith development and active membership in their respective faith communities.