Once again, worshippers gathered in Southwest Brooklyn on Good Friday, this year on March 30, for the traditional procession of the Way of the Cross.
During the tradition that has been around for decades, residents from several neighboring parishes came together on local streets to pay tribute to the death and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Participants held up large black crosses as well as a statue of Christ on the cross as they followed “in the footsteps of Jesus Christ”. Hymns were sung and participants held candles aloft.
Monsignor David Cassato, who is the Pastor of St. Athanasius and NYPD Chaplain, spoke to what the tradition means to attendees.
“It’s a tradition that has gone on for at least 40 years in Bensonhurst,” he said. “Even though the Italian community isn’t as large as it once was in the area, it still brought together more than 1,500 Italian American Catholics who offered a tremendous sign of their faith to the community at large. It shows that we believe. And in a world of secularism, it brings a remembrance of faith to the streets for people who may be falling away. It was amazing that it was pouring but just as we started to process, the rain stopped. “
At 3 p.m. Bishop of Brooklyn Nicholas DiMarzio presided over the Good Friday Service of the Lord’s Passion at St. Athanasius Church, 2154 61st Street.
At night, thousands of Catholics gathered at St. Dominic Church, 2001 Bay Ridge Parkway, and began their procession through the streets of Bensonhurst. The faithful, led by Bishop DiMarzio, carried crosses and statues, symbolizing Jesus’ walk to Calvary. The procession was organized by the Italian Apostolate, and along the journey, participants will pray in Italian. The walk concluded at St. Athanasius.
The Way of the Cross was organized by the Parishes of St. Athanasius, St. Bernadette, St. Dominic, St. Finbar, St. Frances Cabrini, St. Mary Mother of Jesus, Our Lady of Grace, St. Rosalia/Regina Pacis and Saints Simon and Jude with the Knights of Columbus.