On Sunday March 13, Mount St. Mary’s University will be holding its first annual living Stations of the Cross. This dramatic and moving portrayal of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ will take place at 3 p.m., which is known as the hour of mercy, in front of Knott Auditorium.
This event is unique as it is bringing together Mount employees from across the university. Mr. Simon Newman and Father Brian Nolan, chaplain of Campus Ministry began discussing the concept over a year ago, and it was brought to life with the help of many others, including Dr. Kurt Blaugher, Brian Bartoldus (the director of Chapel Choir), JB Brewer (the director of media services), and Jake Crider (Public Safety).
Genevieve Williams, a Mount St. Mary’s University alumna, will direct this new Mount tradition. The living stations features a cast of current students, including sophomore Andrea Montanti.
Montanti’s spiritual life was greatly impacted when she first saw a living Stations of the Cross one summer in high school. Because of this, she knew that she wanted to be a part of this special experience. She is extremely excited to be portraying The Virgin Mary on Sunday.
Nick Esposito, class of 2017, wanted to be involved with the performance because of his previous involvement with theatrical productions.
Another student, DeAna Saint-Fort, class of 2019, will be portraying one of the weeping women that Jesus addresses on his journey to Calvary. She loved being able to experience Jesus’ suffering and death in this unique and beautiful portrayal.
While there have been rehearsals where they have practiced actions and movements, both Saint-Fort and Montanti state that the most important part of the preparation going into the event has been prayer and discernment.
“[The] cast [has] a pretty big role to fill,” Montanti explained, “I want to make sure I authentically and genuinely give the audience an experience of what Mary would have been like on the path to her Son’s crucifixion.”
Esposito will be portraying one of the Roman soldiers who beats and crucifies Jesus. He is hopeful that those present will “reflect upon the reality that we have all had times in our lives through our sins where we have been the Roman soldier and wounded Christ, or have been indifferent to or enabled his suffering.”
All three are incredibly eager for the Mount community to experience this moving event. “The audience can expect to be moved on both an emotional and level,” Montanti explained. “Everyone will be affected in different ways, whether they be in the audience or in the presentation, so I am really looking forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit touches each person’s life.”
Esposito added, “We are trying to accurately make the events of the passion and death of Jesus visible and accessible and help members of the Mount community to reflect and mediate upon these events as the central “drama” of salvation history and the cornerstone of our faith in Christ during this Lenten season.”
Montanti hopes that the entire Mount community will come out to experience God’s love in a very real way. “The Stations are real, Jesus went through this horrible death for each and every one of us and He would do it a thousand times over if need be. Just think, what you witness from Stations is only a small fraction of what He actually went through. To me, that’s pretty powerful.”