As we journey through Lent towards Good Friday and Easter, we are invited to enter more deeply into the suffering of Christ. The Stations of the Cross have traditionally been a way for Catholics to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and to meditate on His road to Calvary. The Stations take us on a pilgrimage with Christ to the cross. A unique way to enter into this meditation is through the eyes of Christ’s mother, Mary.
Mary’s role is to draw us closer to her Son and, like the Rosary, Mary’s Way of the Cross, written by Fr. Richard Furey, brings us up close and personal with the profound love between Mary and Jesus. Since 2015, the women of our parish have offered Mary’s Way of the Cross during Lent to bring us a new perspective. Sue Cotton has been a part of it since the beginning.
“It has been very moving to go through the Stations of the Cross through Mary’s eyes,” Sue says. “Two years ago, one of our sons passed away and this has carried me through my grief in many ways. It has been a wonderful way for my faith to grow stronger.”
Sue shares her experience of grief with two of the ladies who help to put on Mary’s Way of the Cross. But everyone, whether they are a mother or not, can gain something from Mary’s perspective. In fact, Sue and the others began to offer these stations outside of the parish. First, they visited other parishes, to present the stations and share the booklet. In 2018, they presented the stations at the prison in Grafton for the first time.
“We couldn’t take anything in with us,” Sue says. “But we were allowed to bring food to them, and one time we actually served them a meal. We are women who are all moms and they were very respectful and very appreciative.”
Sue credits Dodie Kolhoff with introducing Mary’s Way of the Cross to the parish. Dodie saw the stations at a parish in Alabama and knew that our parish would benefit from this meditation as well. So Sue brought the group of women together. They keep it very simple so that the focus is on the meditations.
“It’s a new viewpoint — many of us haven’t viewed the stations through Mary’s eyes,” Sue says. “It’s a new way of looking at Christ going to be crucified for us. Fr. Furey gives a short description of the station and a prayer to connect it to us here and now. Then we end each station with an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be with the whole parish together. It’s neat to hear our united voices.”
This year, Mary’s Way of the Cross will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16. All are welcome. Check the bulletin for more details.