Students to Perform Living Stations of the Cross
With the powerful season of Lent commencing this week, about 20 Sacred Heart University students will perform “The Living Stations of the Cross,” a dramatic reenactment of Jesus Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion.
The Living Stations will take place on Friday, February 15, at SHU’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit at 7 p.m. The dramatic presentation will be composed of music, hymns and psalms performed by students who are part of Sacred Heart’s rich campus ministry program.
Lent is the 40 days of preparation that Catholics observe prior to the celebration of Easter. Friday’s event is meant to help start that period of deep reflection, prayer and repentance.
Bringing the Living Stations of the Cross to Sacred Heart University was the brainchild of Vincent Ebenau ’14, whose own father came up with an idea for the production at their home parish in Toms River, N.J. Ebenau said he approached Father Jerry Ryle, director of campus ministry, several months ago about the idea of bringing The Living Stations to campus because he firmly believes it will bring scripture alive to the Sacred Heart community. Ebenau says the impact of the stations can be “so strong, so powerful, that individuals witnessing them can almost feel that they are actually going through it.”
“These stations are powerful enough to make people feel and be moved,” said Ebenau. “It’s important for people to come because they feel called to and act upon that call by saying ‘yes – I can spend an hour in prayer.’ ”
“I am inspired to see some 20 of our students spending so much time working with the story of our Lord’s passion and death in such a way as to dramatize it and share their faith with others,” said Ryle. “They are experiencing one aspect of our Catholic spirituality, namely, our devotions.”
The upcoming sacred event, Ebenau says, is a dramatic production of the scripture and the journey of Christ through Golgotha. It is based on the four gospels, and music will accompany the performance. “This outreach is designed to include everyone at Sacred Heart and in the communities throughout Fairfield County,” he said.
For freshman Martine Szanto, who is also participating in the Living Stations, Friday’s event is a chance to enrich her own faith.
“My faith is extremely important in my life, and I hope that bringing the fundamental saving act of Christ to life will be a reminder of the Church of God’s unconditional love for us,” said Szanto who is from Roswell, Ga. “I hope I’m doing my part to spread the Good News. Seeing a story performed is always different than reading it, so I hope that it will make Christ’s passion real and present for the audience.”
“The Living Stations of the Cross Outreach is simply an invitation to encourage others to come to an event unlike any other that Sacred Heart University has ever seen,” said Ebenau. “My long- term goal is to invite others to come so they may carry the tradition of these stations with them to their parishes across the land.”
Ebenau believes Friday’s performance will offer students and the faithful an opportunity to strengthen and grow in their faith while also learning about scripture and the scores of lessons that can be gleaned from scripture.
“At large to this community and beyond, this faith-filled presentation of the stations will test the faith of the community and allow them to draw closer to God and the Church by forgetting about all their troubles and letting go,” concluded Ebenau.