Latino immigrants lead Stations of the Cross procession in NYC

New York, Apr 7 (EFE).- Latino immigrants were prominent in Friday’s bilingual Way of the Cross procession in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Parishioners from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the Highbridge neighborhood devoted months of preparation to the Good Friday event.

Clad in period costumes, members of the congregation portraying Jesus, Mary, Pontius Pilate, and other personages in the Passion Play made their way to the sound of hymns.

“For me this is something about great love for Jesus. It’s something that I feel in my heart, what Jesus suffered for us, what he sacrificed,” Hector Delgadillo, playing the role of Jesus for the fourth time, told EFE before the procession began from the church.

At each of the 14 Stations of the Cross, people emerged from residences and businesses to observe the dramatization, and some wept as they watched the Roman soldiers whip and push Jesus straining under the weight of the cross.

Sacred Heart’s pastor, the Rev. Jose Cruz, said that his mainly Puerto Rican and Dominican parishioners have been mounting the procession for 25 years.

Newer members from Ecuador, Venezuela, Haiti, and various African nations have embraced the tradition, he said.

Good Friday is the occasion to “value the sacrifice of Jesus, and how that sacrifice continues to be alive in the immigrants, in how they find the strength to keep going,” the priest said.

His congregation, he added, is made up of people who work “two or three jobs to put food on the table.”

“A vibrant community, who suffer, but who have hope,” Cruz said.

The procession culminated inside Sacred Heart Church with the re-enactment of the crucifixion before a throng that included Mexican immigrant Guadalupe Rojas, accompanied her children and her sister.

“It’s the second time that I come for my faith. We are in Holy Week and it’s a tradition that is being lost,” she told EFE. EFE


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