• May 28, 2015

Iowa State Daily

St. Thomas Church celebrates Good Friday with stations of the cross

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Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013 1:13 pm | Updated: 1:02 pm, Sun Mar 31, 2013.

On Friday, March 29, 2013, St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Catholic student center members celebrated Good Friday with a stations of the the cross ceremony on ISU campus.

Nearly 30 members walked on a strategically planned route with 15 stop points. Members began worship on the corner of Lincoln Way and Ash Avenue under the Gathered in the Spirit sculpture and ended in the St. Thomas Aquinas Sanctuary after circling the campus. 

Father Jim Dubert, the associate pastor for St. Thomas, lead the congregation in prayers. 

"We do it every year, we have sites around campus where we stop and pray. We have prayers attached to each site," Dubert said. "[Fifteen stations] is the traditional number for stations in the Catholic church."

Good Friday is celebrated the Friday before Easter Sunday. It signifies the day of the crucifixion of Christ. 

"It's actually got a lot of history, it goes back to the times when the church was uneducated and didn't know, it was something they could act out and live out like the steps that Jesus took to be cruxified and it allows us to be able to put ourselves, no matter where we are, to put ourselves in the footsteps of Jesus almost literally, I think." said church member and senior in dairy science Jonathon Schmeckel.

"Here were doing a little twist; just how different events through history and what we do on-campus has an affect and how that is similar to what Jesus endured."

Each stop represented a significant moment of Jesus's crucifixion and resurection beginning with a prayer to remember Jesus being condemned to death.

"[The ceremony is important] because it's like the suffering, and I think especially when you walk it, it makes it more real the fact that the things we do on campus on a regular basis have an affect on other people, whether that's good things or bad things it does have an affect," Schmeckel said.

Church members took turns carrying a large wooden cross at the front of the walk.

"As Christians, we believe that everybody's called to take up the cross in some way or shape or form. So it's just whoever is next I guess," Schmeckel explained.

Church member Patrick Sullivan, graduate student in civil, construction and environmental engineering, felt the ceremony was important to his catholic upbringing.

"I grew up a Catholic my whole life, and my family has been very involved at my home parish and so every year during lent it's a very spiritual time of year," Sullivan said. "So i'll spend a lot of time at our church and the station of the cross are are really important part of lent."

Members kneeled to pray, recited verses and sang hymns throughout their journey in a ceremony that lasted around an hour and a half. 

"The whole season is about commemorating Christ's suffering, his death and resurrection for us. So part of why I do this is out of tradition or out of habit," Sullivan said. "Another part is that it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget about the importance of living our life in Christ and this helps make that more poignant."

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