Worshipers stop at Bethel Church in Beaverton to pray about peace and service.
BEAVERTON — About 500 Christians, many of them Catholic, prayed and sang in the streets of downtown Beaverton on Good Friday, linking the suffering of Jesus to modern problems.
"Who is this man who carries his cross, whose steps falter and is wounded to death?" asked the Rev. Kathy Boyes, pastor of First United Methodist Church. The crowd responded: "It is our Lord. Let is follow him and carry his cross today!"
Members of local churches took turns carrying a large wooden cross and leading prayers at key sites. At a war memorial, the group recalled Jesus falling for the first time and prayed for peace. At a farmer's market site, they remembered Jesus meeting Veronica and called for reaching out to create economic justice. At Planned Parenthood, the crowd called to mind that Jesus was stripped of his garments and offered prayers that the sanctity of all life will be respected.
The walk was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Portland's Office of Life, Justice and Peace. Archbishop Emeritus John Vlazny walked along in civilian clothes and baseball cap, singing and praying like everyone else.
There was participation by members of Holy Trinity, St. John Fisher, St. Juan Diego and St. Cecilia parishes and Mission of the Atonement, a Catholic-Lutheran congregation.
David Judy, an Intel contractor and member of Holy Trinity, said the walk reminded him of the times he prayed along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. It was two ecumenical hours. The walk of the cross began with a round of "Amazing Grace" at First United Methodist Church and ended with "O Sacred Head" at St. Cecilia Church.
At the shrine to St. Francis of Assisi at St. Cecilia, Deacon Bill Richardson told the crowd that Pope Francis, when he was elected, thought of the poor and of avoiding war. That is how he chose his name.
The walk concluded with worshipers promising to "all take up the cross of sorrow and joy."
All across western Oregon on Good Friday, Catholics gathered in churches stripped of decoration to hear the Passion read in quiet services. Some communities, especially among Hispanics, created dramas re-enacting the crucifixion.
To see more photos of the Easter Triduum, check out the Catholic Sentinel's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/catholicsentinel, which will be updated throughout the weekend with photos from around the Archdiocese of Portland.
Posted: Monday, April 21, 2014
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Special recognition to Eileen Sleva who for the last three years has organized this event. Four earlier years, Jerry Osacho was co-organizer. Our gratitude goes to those of the Eastside Walk of the Cross who inspired us in Washington County to have our own Walk of the Cross seven years ago.