The Stations of the Cross on the streets of Brooklyn and other activities during the Lent

Image 3Among various pastoral activities held during the time of Lent the unique Way of the Cross along the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, N.Y. was the most remarkable. The event was a testament to our community’s faith and unity. Read more in the story below.

[Newsletter No. 3/24] Lent, a time of dedicated services for priests in our Vincentian parishes, was marked by unique activities. The liturgical calendar was enriched with Lenten services and local traditions, creating a vibrant daily liturgical program. Notably, stations of the Cross services were held every Friday of Lent in both Polish and English across all four parishes. St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Brooklyn even had a special Stations of the Cross conducted in both languages for schoolchildren. The poignant Bitter Lamentations (Gorzkie Żale) were sung every Sunday, accompanied by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Lenten retreats, led by Fr. Hipolit Brożek, a Bernardine Franciscan friar and exorcist from Poland, and our confrere Fr. Matthew Aneesh Chittadiyil, from CM India-South Province and currently a faculty member of St. John’s University, Queens, NY, were held in both Polish and English. St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish also hosted Lenten adorations, concerts of Lenten sacred music, and an exhibition of sacred art related to the passion and sufferings of Christ.
The unique Way of the Cross was held on the fifth Friday of Lent.  For the first time, this celebration took place in 2018 (on the same route). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it wasn’t possible to organize this activity in the following years until 2023 when people walked from St. Cyril & Methodius Church to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.
This significant event was a testament to our community’s faith and unity. Commencing after the evening Mass at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, the Stations saw a remarkable turnout. More than a thousand people united in their devotion, marching through Greenpoint’s streets to the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius, 1.5 miles away. The faithful, shouldering a giant wooden cross, paused to reflect on the Passion of Christ and sang penitential songs, creating a powerful and moving atmosphere.

Among the daily activities of priests in our parishes is the Sacrament of Penance. Many faithful make great use of this sacrament, coming to our churches even from very distant places. But during Lent, the number of those using the sacrament of reconciliation is always much higher. No wonder confession hours were extended each day, and in the second half of Lent, there were long lines for confessions despite the 3-to-4 priests present. It is worth being tired for such moments.
It should also be noted that throughout the Lent, donations were collected for the poor and needy in the area and for the needs of the poorest.

This story was first published in the Provincial's Newsletter March 2024
edition which you can find in our Library along with all previous Newsletters.
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