Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

City Pilgrims Bear Witness by Bearing Cross

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

City Pilgrims Bear Witness by Bearing Cross

Article excerpt

The walk through Hamilton Heights commemorates the Good Friday tradition of Jesus carrying his cross on the route to Calvary.

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On Good Friday, 50 city pilgrims "walked with Jesus." Under leaden skies from noon until 3 p.m., they prayerfully trod 14 blocks over the pocked, glass-strewn, broken sidewalks of the city's Hamilton Heights neighborhood. They shared their Christian beliefs with all who could hear their 13 hymns. They followed a 6-foot-tall wooden crucifix with a sculpture of the dying Jesus. Four men bore it on their shoulders. "I couldn't have done it alone; it's about 50 pounds," said William Thompson, 70. He had the role of Simon of Cyrene, the North African who Mark's Gospel says helped Jesus carry his cross to the execution place, Calvary. Seven older members, many of them church choristers, made every stop riding in a church van. Denise Kincaide drove her mechanized wheel chair fearlessly, bumping down curbs without curb cuts. As they began their pilgrimage outside St. Augustine Catholic Church, its pastor, the Rev. Robert J. Gettinger, reminded the pilgrims that the same day in Jerusalem hundreds followed the uphill route - the Via Dolorosa. Tradition says Jesus carried his cross on that route to Calvary. Today 14 stops, or stations, mark that route. For more than 1,700 years pilgrims have meditated on the violence Jesus endured on that route. A few stops mark places of comfort: where Jesus meet his mother, Mary, and where Veronica wiped his bloodied face. The 14 stops along the Hamilton Heights route also marked places of violence and comfort. At their sixth stop, on the steps of Bostick Temple Church of God at Hodiamont and Wells avenues, the pilgrims prayed for an 8-year-old boy who was murdered by his mother a few years ago and buried from the church. …

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