Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Way of the Cross (part 01)

Last Friday a number of us from Post journeyed to the town where I'd concelebrated Mass on the Feast of St. Joseph, in order to participate in their annual outdoor "Way of the Cross." The course zigs and zags its way up an impressive hill. On a topographical map, it looked as though the total ascent in elevation was probably in the range of 150 to 160 meters (perhaps some 450 feet).

I'd heard about the event from our predecessors in KFOR-11, and had been very much looking forward to it. If one looks intently enough, it's possible to see a large wooden cross which marks the end of the uphill journey. (Given that the photo was taken from 1200 meters away, with my small camera, it's probably not a surprise it's not too visible....)

The day was bright and sunny, which was a relief, given all the rainy days we'd been having for the previous several weeks. I should have brought sun screen for my face and neck, as it turns out!

People from all over Kosovo show up for this ceremony, so by the time we started (about a half-hour later than scheduled), there were a lot of folks present. The Pastor asked if we Americans would do the first and last Stations in English. Mid-way through the ascent, the Pastor asked me to lead a decade of the rosary in English, so I asked one of my buddies from the hospital if he'd do that for us.

Might as well share the wealth, I say!

In the fairly recent past the parishioners had managed to replace each of the fourteen rough hewn wooden Stations with stone monuments.

As we climbed the mountain, the vistas below widened and broadened. What a beautiful countryside (except for the trash, of course). (All other things being equal, the town we were in is one of the cleanest around, from what I've seen....)

One can easily see the Church of St. Joseph in the midst of the town below us.

The assembled priests asked me to concelebrate Mass at the summit with them, and despite having an alb with me, I assented. But, more on that, tomorrow.

Suffice it to say, what a beautiful place in which to be praising God!

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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