Eleven men in discernment came from across the midwest to participate in a Holy Week Pilgrimage in Pilsen – a Latino neighborhood on Chicago’s south side. They camped in the hallway of the Jesuit parish rectory at St. Procopius and participated in Holy Week liturgical celebrations at different parishes in the area.
On Good Friday, the men walked the Via Crucis Vivente, a live reenactment of the Stations of the Cross, through the Pilsen neighborhood with thousands of other pilgrims. As one participant commented, “The Via Crucis Vivente helped me recognize how Christ continues to suffer in our world today.” They spent Easter with Jesuit seminarians studying in the Chicago area.
The event was organized by Michael Rossmann, SJ, a Jesuit seminarian currently at Creighton University in Omaha, and was hosted by Ken Homan, a second year Jesuit novice who is currently helping out at Pilsen.
Read one pilgrim’s story:
This Pilgrims Journey
by Damian Torres-Botello
This year, to deepen my prayerful experience of the Holy Triduum and to celebrate Easter, I decided to make the pilgrimage from my Chicago neighborhood of Uptown to Pilsen – a 56 minute “L” and bus ride (according to Google Transit). This journey for me was filled with so much significance as I learned more about the Ignatian Spirituality Project through seriously remarkable stories from Bill Creed, SJ; heard from anther a tremendous vocation story and about life as a Cristo Rey Jesuit High School teacher, and walked the “Via Crucis Viviente” – the living Way of the Cross – with the community of Pilsen. Observing liturgies at St. Procopius Holy Trinity Church and surrounding parishes brought about astonishing moments of challenge (if only I fully understood Spanish!), peace, and unity as 12 pilgrims and I were welcomed into each parish. And whether it was during faith sharing, downtime, preparing and eating dinner, or learning to dance to choice pop music in the back of a van, I met several men in discernment where God was working through each of them in unique and beautiful ways. But what made this pilgrimage significant for me was the moment I received the call informing me of my acceptance into the Jesuit novitiate! Walking the “Via Crucis Viviente,” from the sight of the crucifixion at Harrison Park to St. Adalbert Parish, and accompanied by three pilgrims from Creighton University, my heart was filled with so much gratitude and joy and other emotions I have yet to identify (and, of course, relief now that the wait was over – WHEW!). How perfect this moment; to be in fellowship with my brothers in Christ and following our Lord from His place of death to His place of rest, in anticipation for a new life that could only be provided through His resurrection. How fantastic! How blessedly unexpected! What a pilgrimage!