Way of the Cross brings Easter season to downtown Prince Albert

Submitted photo Bishop Stephen Hero carries the cross during the Way of the Cross in downtown Prince Albert on Good Friday.

Christians from across Prince Albert gathered at City Hall on Friday for the Stations of the Cross, a 14-step devotion that commemorates the life of Jesus in the days leading up to his crucifixion.

Good Friday was honoured in Prince Albert with a Good Friday Outdoor Way of the Cross beginning at City Hall. The event followed the journey of Jesus Christ on his last day.

“On Good Friday we pray the Way of the Cross in remembrance of the passion of Christ, the story of Jesus’s journey to the cross,” said Christine Taylor, the Director of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert and one of the event organizers.

Although Friday’s gathering was organized by the Catholic community, Taylor stressed that it was an ecumenical event. She said they had representatives from many cultures.

“There were people from different denominations. It was also just becoming more multicultural, every year, as our city becomes more multicultural, the Way of the Cross becomes more multicultural,” Taylor said.

Submitted Photo The Way of the Cross made its way through downtown Prince Albert on Good Friday.

She said that many First Nations people and people from Vietnam, the Philippines and Africa took part.

The 14 devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of His last day, beginning with His condemnation. The stations are commonly used as a mini pilgrimage as the individual moves from station to station.

At each station, the group recalled and meditated on a specific event from Christ’s last day. Specific prayers are recited, then the individual moves to the next station until all 14 are complete.

She said it is a time of reflections on where Christ is being crucified.

The Stations of the Cross began at the steps of City Hall with a reading from Bishop Stephen Hero of the Diocese of Prince Albert. The walk then made its way up Central Avenue to the Salvation Army.

The next stop was at the former SLGA downtown Liquor Store before heading to the Prince Albert Food Bank. The next stop was outside a church building before it made its way to the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre. The next stop was the Multicultural Centre followed by the Medical Arts Building.

“We stopped in the places that we always have and we were just praying for different things that are occurring. So we were praying for leadership, praying for justice, restorative justice, praying for an end to war, praying for the thousands of refugees that are in the world because of war,” Taylor said.

They prayed for reconciliation outside the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre, prayed for people suffering with addictions outside the former liquor store, prayed for restorative justice outside the court house and prayed for youth outside the former Margo Fournier Centre

“We just prayed for our youth to see beyond the despair, that they are experiencing and have hope,” Taylor said.

The walk then made its way to outside the Gateway Mall before going to the Margo Fournier Centre. The next stop was the Provincial Court and then the next station was the University of Saskatchewan.

The final station saw the walk return to the Cenotaph at City Hall where the prayer was to become instruments of peace in the world.

Taylor said having the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday was special and the event has become an ecumenical tradition.

The snow on Monday was a surprise but people were prepared for it.

“We absolutely prepare for the weather and there was about 65 or 75 of us, it was a good turnout for the weather,” Taylor said.

She explained that unhoused people from downtown also joined in on the walk.

“It was touching for people,” she said.