On Sunday, July 26, 2015, Karl and I welcomed family and friends to join us for a blessing of the 15 Stations: the 6 Ways of the MargFMac Front Garden Loop. Rev. Ken Himes OFM, our friend, priest, and teacher (who also blessed our 2012 marriage in the middle of this garden), facilitated the blessing of our fifteen stations. He explained that the tradition of praying the stations of the cross began in the middle ages… As the Christian community expanded beyond the Holy Lands, people wished to remain close to walking with Jesus (Jesus’ Passion), so they created the stations at their own locations to aid this walking prayer practice. Please read the Background of why we created stations at the bottom of this post.
We started with a blessing of our street-side kiosk. Fr. Ken explained that the kiosk was really a symbol of hospitality. He blessed the kiosk, he blessed us and our service, and he prayed for the people who would come to experience it and the gardens.
As we walked from station one to station fifteen, Fr. Ken blessed each wooden cross and prayed for the healing presence of Jesus to comfort the care-receivers and care-givers who would be praying at these stations in the future.
Background ~ Our 15 Stations: the 6 Ways of the MargFMac Front Garden Loop
This Easter Season, Holy Week 2015, we created 15 Stations around the 0.1 mile wheelchair-accessible MargFMac Front Garden Loop, an action born of contemplative prayer. In this afternoon prayer-time, Mary experienced a vision of a young child Jesus peeking out from behind a garden gate. Smiling, and waving playfully with his hand to come inside the garden, he said, “Come with me…” This vision was followed by a strong invitation to create 15 Stations around the wheelchair-accessible MargFMac Front Garden Loop, and a profound feeling that the stations would be a source of spiritual companionship for people living with extended illness and their care-partners, to know they are not alone in their suffering, and to offer a model of hope and resurrection in the midst of ongoing grief and loss, recovery and renewal.
We strive to make our 15 Stations as inter-spiritual as possible (to include those who have no belief/spirituality and people of various faith and socio-cultural backgrounds). To this end, and also to honor the “why” we have created this garden and share it regularly with our friends with disabilities and their care-partners, we have created 15 Stations, Six Ways…
1. A Holistic-health Self-Love Circuit.
2. The Way of Jesus’ Passion (suffering).
3. The Way of Margaret and Mary (dementia-care 2006-2008).
4. The Way of the Resurrection (also known as the Way of the Light).
5. The Way of Mary and Karl, practicing resurrection.
6. Your unique story, a sacred part of the universal.
Read more about the background of the Stations of the Cross
“The tradition of moving around the Stations to commemorate the Passion of Christ began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period. It is most commonly done during Lent, especially on Good Friday, but it also done on other days as well, especially Wednesdays and Fridays.” (source: wikipedia.org)
Read more about the background of the Stations of the Resurrection
“In the summer of 1988, Father Sabino Palumbieri, Professor of Anthropology at the Salesian University in Rome, proposed the creation of a new set of stations, centred upon the Resurrection and the events following from it, so as to emphasise the positive, hopeful aspect of the Christian story which, though not absent from the Stations of the Cross, is obscured by their emphasis upon suffering. The first major public celebration of this devotion was in 1990, after which it gained greater currency.” (source: wikipedia.org)
Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,