In the encyclical Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis tells us, "Life (…) is the art of encounter," and it was in this spirit of communion and universal fraternity that the Hispanic communities of the Diocese of Montreal came together to celebrate the Way of the Cross for migrants and refugees.
Responding to the experience of pursuing our life of faith in digital format, the initiative was conceived to coordinate a Way of the Cross for Good Friday whereby each participating parish and mission would create a video featuring one of the respective stations.
Along the Way of the Cross, participants reflected on the realities of migrants and refugees, who undergo humiliation in their quest for a decent life. Just as Jesus suffered indignity, torture and violence, many migrants and refugees have to experience discrimination, xenophobia, deportation and abduction in their search for a decent life for themselves and their families.
As we see in the example provided by Joseph of Arimathea, who treated with dignity the body of Jesus, offering for the burial the tomb he had had prepared for himself, all people, including migrants and refugees, deserve to be treated with that same dignity throughout their lives. Their dignity is assured when they can meet their own needs in terms of housing, employment, health and security.
We witnessed an amazing burst of creativity and an explosion of faith, praise, prayer and enthusiasm, as each of the participating groups, with the assistance of their priests, provided us with a beautiful experience of the Way of the Cross encountered from a fresh perspective, and with the love and devotion that each group brought to their project.
Through this initiative we were able to see each of the parishes and missions up close as they worked together with their team, their community, sharing our faith together.
All throughout this experience we were guided by the words of Pope Francis in Fratelli tutti. The Holy Father is convinced that migration is both a fundamental element in humanity’s future and a perfect opportunity to return to placing the focus on the person (FT, 40). Fear of the ‘other’ may well be natural and instinctive, but it must not undermine the capacity for encounter which makes us grow as human beings (FT, 41). Along the path of growth of each one of us, opening our hearts to the other becomes an imperative.
The finished product was a video created thanks to the participation of the 14 parishes and missions expressing their prayers that the hopes of the immigrants of the world may be realized.
With thanks to the 14 Spanish-speaking parishes and missions:
- Mision Santa Teresa de Avila - Father Carlos Betancour
- Mision Madona del Divino Amor - Father Feliciano Merchan
- Mision Madona de Pompei - Father Feliciano Merchan
- Mision Madre de los Cristianos - Father Jairo Alfonso
- Mision Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe - Father Percy Omar
- Parroquia Saint-Theophilus - Permanent Deacon Marcos
- Parroquia Saint-Luc - Father Bertrand Monpetit
- Parroquia Saint-Gilbert - Father Jean Braconin
- Parroquia Sainte-Margarite-Bourgeoys - Father Jean-Pierre Langlois
- Parroquia Saint-Joseph - Father Tito Iannaccio
- Parroquia Saint-Hubert - Father Hugo de la Cruz - Edgar Sis
- Montreal Cathedral - Father Emanuel Zetino
- Comunidad Santa Rosa de Lima - Father Luc Laurence
Office for Cultural and Ritual Communities