There will be a new opportunity for the faithful to enhance their Holy Week experience this year, station churches. This is in addition to the traditional Holy Week liturgies, the Alfombras de Semana Santa (the Carpets of Holy Week) at La Sagrada Familia Parish in Cleveland and the return of the Good Friday procession on Cleveland’s Near West Side.
Father Damian Ference, vicar for evangelization and director of the diocesan Office of Parish Life and Special Ministries, said 21 churches will remain open until 11 p.m. on Holy Thursday, April 6 to allow additional opportunities for prayer and adoration after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
“It is an ancient Catholic tradition in the city of Rome to visit seven churches after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and to pray before the Blessed Sacrament in each of those churches,” said Father Ference, who spent four years studying in Rome.
He said the 21 station churches participating in the inaugural year of this prayer pilgrimage are in areas with a high young adult population. Father Ference encourages the faithful to take the opportunity to visit seven of the churches and to pray the diocesan prayer for the Eucharistic Revival at each worship location. He said the prayer would be available at participating locations in various languages.
“Document your Holy Thursday experience on social media using the hashtag #EucharistCLE,” Father Ference added.
The following churches will remain open until 11 p.m. on Holy Thursday:
- St. John Cantius, 606 College Ave., Cleveland; Father James Roach, pastor
- St. Wendelin, 281 Columbus Road, Cleveland; Father Robert Kropac, pastor
- St. Emeric, 1860 W. 22nd St,, Cleveland; Father Richard Bona, pastor
- St. Malachi, 2459 Washington Ave., Cleveland; Father Michael Gurnick, administrator
- St. Peter, 1533 E. 17th St., Cleveland; Father Phil Bernier, OFM Cap, pastor
- St. Michael the Archangel, 3114 Scranton Road, Cleveland; Father Marl Riley, pastor
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel (West), 6928 Detroit Ave., Cleveland; Father James Chia, O de M, pastor
- St. Agnes/Our Lady of Fatima, 6800 Lexington Ave., Cleveland; Father James Watson, OFM Cap, pastor
- St. James, 17514 Detroit Ave., Lakewood; Father Joseph Workman, pastor
- Transfiguration, 12508 Madison Ave., Lakewood; Father Theodore Haag, OFM, pastor
- Our Lady of Angels, 3644 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland; Father Robert Ramser, pastor
- St. Augustine, 2486 W. 14th St., Cleveland; Father William O’Donnell, C.PP.S, pastor
- St. Andrew Kim, 2310 W. 14th St., Father Seonghoon Moses Cheong, administrator
- Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 1007 Superior Ave., Cleveland; Father Sean Ralph, rector
- St. Stephen, 1930 W. 54th St., Cleveland; Father Caroli Borromeo Shao, AJ, pastor
- St. Rocco, 3205 Fulton Road, Cleveland; Father James Mayer, O de M, pastor
- La Sagrada Familia, 7719 Detroit Ave., Cleveland; Father Francisco Honorato Garnica, CSJ, pastor
- St. Luke, 1212 Bunts Road, Lakewood; Father Kevin Elbert, pastor
- St. Clement, 2022 Lincoln Ave., Lakewood; Father Joseph Workman, pastor
- Mary Queen of Peace, 4423 Pearl Road, Cleveland; Father Douglas Brown, pastor
- St. Patrick, 3602 Bridge Ave., Cleveland; Father Michael Gurnick, pastor
In addition, the public is invited to stop by Sagrada Familia Parish on Holy Thursday to view the Alfombras de Semana Santa (the Carpets of Holy Week), in the parish gymnasium. The gym will be lined with rows of intricately designed panels of religious-themed sawdust art that can be viewed throughout the day on Holy Thursday.
The tradition is believed to have begun in Spain and it is common in Central America, especially in Guatemala and El Salvador, where the Diocese of Cleveland established a mission more than 50 years ago.
It began at the parish in 2013 as an Eagle Scout project and is continued by parish volunteers. Individuals, ministries and organizations will create their sawdust panels beginning on Palm Sunday.
Another Holy Week tradition resuming this year is the Good Friday procession.
Hundreds of faithful are expected to gather at St. Michael the Archangel Church at 11 a.m. on Good Friday, April 7, for the procession. Bishop Edward Malesic is expected to participate in part of the procession. The group will walk to St. Colman Church for prayers and then walk to Sagrada Familia Church, where they will trample the sawdust carpets before moving into the church for a prayer service.