AS we begin the Lenten season Christians often look for ways that they can either rekindle or enhance their faith. For many that journey has been hampered this year as churches remain closed for public worship due to the Covid-19 regulations.
However, thanks to a partnership between Lámh Dhearg GAC, Hannahstown Community Association and the Parish of Hannahstown, the faithful can now follow the Stations of The Cross in a Covid-safe manner on the Lámh Dhearg grounds.
The Stations of The Cross have been attached to the parameter fence of the club’s ‘Highway to Health’ walk and parishioners are being encouraged to combine their physical exercise with their spiritual wellbeing by following the crosses this Lent.
Speaking to the Andersonstown News Father Kevin McGuckien, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s in Hannahstown said: “I have seen the number of parishioners who have utilised this space during lockdown. I thought that with the start of the Holy season of Lent which is such an important season for us as Christians and that bringing the Way of The Cross to this facility to combine your spiritual health and physical health would be ideal.
“Praying the Stations of the Cross, either at church or here in the grounds of Lámh Dhearg, provides us with many graces and opportunities to grow in our love of God. In both good times and difficult times, this beautiful devotion is a source of great comfort, for it not only reminds us of all that our Lord has done for us. It reminds us that, even in the trials of life, our Lord is with us, he loves us and joy awaits us,” he added.
Praying the Stations of the Cross, either at church or here in the grounds of Lámh Dhearg, provides us with many graces and opportunities to grow in our love of God. In both good times and difficult times, this beautiful devotion is a source of great comfort, for it not only reminds us of all that our Lord has done for us. It reminds us that, even in the trials of life, our Lord is with us, he loves us and joy awaits us
Continuing he said: “The beauty of having the Stations of the Cross here in the grounds of Lámh Dhearg is that the faithful can combine their physical exercise with their spiritual exercise. We are encouraging the faithful to do some prayerful walking which is an important aspect of our Christian heritage. There is something about the rhythm and movement of the Way of the Cross that effectively draws one into the ‘Holy of Holies’ that is the Passion of Christ. We hope this is what the faithful will gain as they pray the Stations around the grounds.”
Lámh Dhearg Chairman Peter Kane added: “We are very much a community-based club and over this past few months we have been trying to help in what every way we can physically and on this occasion spiritually. We were approached by Hannahstown Community Association to ask if we could facilitate the Way of the Cross on the Highway To Health and we would encourage all of our members, their friends and family to come and walk the Way of the Cross.
“This is a very busy route and has been since the first lockdown and I would encourage anyone who is looking to come out for some quiet time to visit the facility and to follow the Stations of the Cross in a way that is Covid-safe.”
Echoing the words of Fr McGuckien and Peter, Jim McCormick, Chairman of the Hannahstown Community Association, added: “I think it is quite clear that given the current situation getting people out and about in a safe environment has to be a priority. This facility has been ideal for the Hannahstown community and the parishioners have been overjoyed to have this facility on their doorstep.
“The cooperation between Lámh Dhearg, the parish and the community association throughout the last few years has been phenomenal. I hope by having the Stations of the Cross here we can encourage people, both in the mental and spiritual wellbeing to come out and enjoy the facility as we head into Lent.”