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Catholic Vancouver April 3, 2018

Good Friday procession unites Christians in Agassiz/Harrison

By B.C. Catholic Staff

Christians from various Agassiz and Harrison churches united for a Good Friday Way of the Cross walk through the streets of Agassiz. (Ginny Lejeune photos)

Agassiz and Harrison Christian churches came together Good Friday for the second annual Way of the Cross walk through the town’s streets.

It’s the second year that Father Steny Mascarenhas, OCD, has orchestrated the walk with various denominations participating in the prayerful faith-sharing event.

Parishioners from St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, All Saints Anglican Church, and Agassiz United Church came together on Good Friday at 10 a.m. The procession started at All Saints Anglican Church and continued through the streets of Agassiz, ending at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church with a simple lunch of vegetarian soups.

While processing through the town, spectators stopped some of the participants to ask what was going on. Some were surprised and touched by the faith of the local churches and commented on how wonderful it was to see such a witness of faith in today’s secular age.

Agassiz and Harrison Christian denomination churches have been working together for several years, starting with an interdenominational Lenten soup and buns initiative on Wednesdays of Lent organized by St. Anthony of Padua.

The relationship among denominations blossomed recently when they jointly welcome a refugee family.

Agassiz Christian Reform Church had the dream of sponsoring a family two years ago, then teamed up with All Saints Anglican Church, Harrison Gospel Chapel, and St. Anthony of Padua. After many ups and downs and two years of preparation, the four denominations last December welcomed a Congolese family of five.

RCMP helped direct traffic as about 70 people belonging to various Christian faiths took part in the second Good Friday ecumenical Way of the Cross to commemorate the Passion, Crucifixion, and Resurrection.

Father Mascarenhas OCD of Catholic Church said, “It’s wonderful to see the sense of unity that binds us together. It’s an opportunity for churches to get together and celebrate the things we have in common. This is something we can all come together on every year. We’re more alike than we are different. As we celebrate Easter and focus on Jesus Christ, many of our differences will fall away.”

Participants observed the Stations of the Cross by walking several blocks from the Anglican Church to the Catholic Church, stopping at each of the stations for a few minutes as prayers and Scriptures were recited.

In between each station, youth from St. Anthony’s and members of the crowd sang the hymn Were You There?