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St. Anthony’s observes Good Friday

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St. Anthony’s observes Good Friday

Mary, the mother of Jesus, played by St. Anthony's School student Monika Paez, mourns the death of her son on the cross. Playing the role of Jesus during the annual Living Stations of the Cross was...

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin


POSTED April 3, 2010 3:09 a.m.
Hundreds of parishioners packed St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church on Good Friday at noon for the English service, and in the evening which was held in Spanish.

The most solemn day of Holy Week began with the annual presentation of the Living Stations of the Cross by the seventh- and eighth-grade students of St. Anthony’s School. A lot of the families attending this meditation service were young couples and their children; with some joined by grandparents.

The riveting presentation was highlighted by the meditative music from Eunio Morricone’s composition used in the Roland Joffe movie, “The Mission,” which provided the musical backdrop for the mimed drama of the Passion of Christ. The musical highlight of the drama was the song, “Mary, did you know?” sung by Norma Franco after the death of Jesus on the Cross.

The main characters in the students’ presentation and the students who played those roles were: Jesus (Jonah Treltas), Mary, the mother of Jesus (Monica Paez), Simon of Cyrene (Eric Lewis), Veronica (Briana Moreno), Pontius Pilate (Nathaniel  Rivas), the women of Jerusalem (Ashley Tarango, Julianna Queirolo, Lindsey Machado, Danielle Simmons and Regina Dias), the Roman soldiers (Rocky Perez, Matthew Poncini, Marcus Lopez, Xenos Oiterong, Christian Ray, and Dylan Morrison). Narrators were Angie Leal, Abby Behler and Jacob Campbell. Leading the reflections were Kaitlyn Simmons and Denielle Herrera.

The rest of the cast who made up the crowd were students in the seventh and eighth grades.

The Living Stations of the Cross was started by Father Lawrence McGovern when he was pastor of the parish. Monsignor McGovern is now the pastor of Presentation Church in Stockton. St. Anthony’s School eighth-grade teacher Nancy Hogle has been overseeing this Good Friday presentation for the last several years.

The traditional Good Friday service that comprised of the reading of the Passion of Christ, the Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion immediately followed the Living Stations of the Cross. Presiders at this service were Parochial Vicar Father Dante Dammay and Father Patrick Walker, church pastor, with seminarian Julio Cesar Isaza assisting.

The solemnity of the last two days – Holy Thursday and Good Friday – turns into the most joyous occasion when Christians everywhere celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Churches around the world will start the celebrations with the lighting of the new fire during Easter Vigil services this evening starting at 8 o’clock.
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