Lenten Stations at Peoria church link injustices inflicted on Jesus, others today

"The Injustice in Justice" is the theme of the Friday Stations of the Cross this Lent at Holy Family Church in Peoria. (Art by Jim Matarelli)

Jesus’ journey to Golgotha will play out in a very different way this Lent as Holy Family Parish in Peoria looks at “The Injustice in Justice” during its Friday Stations of the Cross. Those begin this Friday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.

Father Paul Joseph Langevin, OFM Conv., pastor, and Ron Budzinski, who helped to coordinate the series, said the idea is to connect the injustices inflicted on Jesus to similar injustices inflicted on others today. The theme is taken from Matthew 25:40: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you do to the least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Each Friday there will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a reflection, Stations of the Cross led by Father Paul Joseph, and Benediction.

All of the presenters come from Prison Cursillo or the Jobs Partnership Re-Entry Program, which is sponsored by Heaven’s View Christian Fellowship and has been active in Peoria-area correctional facilities.

MAKING CONNECTIONS

The presentations will begin with a reflection on the first Station, “Jesus is Condemned,” by Budzinski. A retired architect who designed jails and prisons for 40 years, he is involved in the Jobs Partnership Re-Entry Program at Peoria County Jail.

“The connect today is that we still condemn with our prejudices, with our biases, our bigotries, and we really take away people’s hope, purpose, dignity, etc. by exercising those biases,” he said.

On March 5, Dr. Ted Wolgamot will offer a reflection on the third Station, “Jesus Falls.”

“We all fall. We all stumble in our faith,” Budzinski said. “We all have traumas and things that cause us to fall . . . but we get back up.”

Other dates, topics and presenters include:

  • Feb. 26: “Jesus Accepts His Cross,” by Sister Rachel Bergschneider, OSB, who will reflect on how Jesus responded with forgiveness to the injustice of his cross.
  • March 12: “Simon Carries Jesus’ Cross,” by Cheryl Parks, executive director of the Jobs Partnership Program. She will talk about how we help others carry their crosses with our time, talent and treasures.
  • March 19: “Jesus is Stripped,” by Deacon Joe LaHood, who serves Holy Family Parish and is director of prison ministry for the Diocese of Peoria. He will ask people to consider how we unjustly hurt others and if we are willing to forgive when we are unjustly hurt.
  • March 26: “Jesus Dies on the Cross,” by Tyrone Brown, a graduate of the Jobs Partnership Re-Entry Program. His reflection will focus on the promise of paradise made to St. Dismas and how we can achieve that by acknowledging our sins and asking for forgiveness.

TIME TO COME BACK

“The Franciscan charism in all of our apostolates has been to do more than just Stations of the Cross, offering some kind of a preached or focused Lenten program as we pray the Stations of the Cross,” said Father Paul Joseph.

In previous years Holy Family has hosted sessions with the Franciscan friars, as well as “soup and sessions.” In an effort to draw people back to church, Father Paul Joseph said they wanted to offer “something very special” this year.

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