Frigid winds accompanied rain and snow under a mid-afternoon sky Good Friday as Jesus was portrayed by Juan Guerrero and the faithful reenacted the 14 Stations of the Cross in the St. Francis de Sales parking lot in Lake Geneva.
The reenactment drew around 100 faithful to follow Jesus from his condemnation by Pilate to his scourging and eventual crucifixion. The Stations began on one side of the parking lot, where Hispanic volunteers recreated the scene of Jesus being condemned to death. The prayers were said in Spanish, but the message hit home to the English-speaking attendees as well.
With tears in her eyes, Andrea Christian, a member of St. Francis de Sales, said it was the first time she had attended Live Stations of the Cross and felt the volunteers did an exceptional job in portraying Jesus’s last moments.
“This was truly amazing,” she said. “When the Roman soldiers were beating Jesus, I wanted to go over there and attack them. It was very realistic and well done, and it made me so angry.”
There were times Christian turned her head during the scenes, especially as Jesus fell the third time while carrying his Cross.
“This is our faith; this is what we know and believe, but it is hard to watch this, even though it happened 2,000 years ago,” she said.
Among the worshippers following Jesus in the reenactment was 3-year-old Sofia Lozano and her mother, Toni Te Santiago. The two were part of the crowd of women crying for Jesus.
St. Francis de Sales parishioner Hector Varela said all his friends participated in the Living Stations and he loved how it was presented.
“I loved everything,” he said. “It made me sad what Jesus went through for us.”
Reyna Tapsa nodded in agreement as she wiped away tears that streamed down her cheeks.
“This reminded me about how we take Father God, our Papa, for granted,” she said. “It touched my heart. I hope it touched everyone’s heart who came. It was the most beautiful Stations I have been to.”
Parishioners said this celebration in Lake Geneva is not only a message about the pain Jesus Christ suffered but also of love and hope to those that are looking for it in Holy Week.