TEMPE — The Way of the Cross was hard. That didn’t stop Catholics of all ages from yearning to experience a piece of Jesus’ suffering on Good Friday.
They endured a 90-minute midday walk around Arizona State University April 3 for its annual Stations of the Cross. Families, couples, individuals and even some Northern Arizona University students joined ASU students outside the interfaith chapel on campus to reflect on “Everyone’s Way of the Cross.”
Fr. Rob Clements, pastor and director of the university’s All Saints Newman Center, read the First Station of the Cross and carried it to the second station. Other student leaders took turns with the remaining reflections and carrying the large wooden cross around campus.
“The reading wasn’t bad. The cross was heavier than I thought,” Zach Blomberg told The Catholic Sun on a short walk back to campus.
The sophomore and member of Phi Kappa Theta, the Catholic fraternity on campus, volunteered to be among the cross-bearers who also led one of the meditations. He said it was a good way to put himself in Jesus’ footsteps.
Blomberg visualized each station while walking amongst the crowd. He said the Twelfth Station when Jesus dies always moves him.
“This is always a tough one. I definitely feel my heart breaking a little on that one,” Blomberg said.
Steven Sanchez, a senior and one of the cross-bearers, said he felt humbled and said the journey up “A” Mountain provided only a small view of what Jesus endured for humanity.
Sanchez called his participation in the Stations of the Cross a time to witness to ASU’s secular community too. Several ASU students captured parts of the journey on their camera phones as they continued about their lunch hour.
Natalie Rose, a freshman, joined in the Stations of the Cross because she remembers doing so around the downtown square at her home in Prescott. She said it felt right to continue the tradition. The Seventh Station, when Jesus falls for the second time, often moves her.
“Perseverance always resonates with me,” Rose said.