BANGOR, Maine — Kobe Hooper has no illusions about why he was chosen to play Jesus in All Saints Catholic School’s annual Living Stations of the Cross, a reenactment of events on the day of Christ’s crucifixion.
The Bangor 15-year-old says he’s neither the smartest nor the saintliest 8th grader in his school.
“I’m the tallest,” he said in the parish hall of St. John Catholic Church on York Street shortly before he went upstairs Friday afternoon to the sanctuary where worshippers quietly waited.
But playing the role has changed the way he thinks about Christ’s death.
“Before, when I read the Bible passages about his death, I’d think about his sacrifice for all humans, for our sins,” Kobe said. “I’ve learned that crucifixion was really painful. And now I think about how much he suffered. That put it more into an enlightened context for me.”
Joe Gallant, principal of All Saints School, said that for 15 years the eighth grade class has been doing a Living Stations of the Cross presentation on Good Friday, the day that Christians believe Christ died on a cross. This year the students had been practicing since late February.
“The parish and school are one entity,” the principal said. “This is our way of giving back to the parish.”
Friday’s hundreds of worshippers included parish members, as well as the parents, grandparents and siblings of the students who took part in the presentation.
St. Paul the Apostle Parish is made up of churches in Bangor, Brewer, Hampden and Winterport. All Saints School was created in 2000 when St. John’s and St. Mary’s parish schools merged.
The Stations of the Cross is a popular devotion used by individuals or groups who wish, through prayer and reflection, to follow Jesus Christ on his way to Calvary. Many Christians practice the devotion during Lent, especially on Good Friday.
St. Paul the Apostle Parish did an outdoor version called the Way of the Cross from 2012 through 2016 on Palm Sunday. Enactors dressed in costumes that attempted to be historically accurate.
That event, which began at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Main Street in Brewer and culminated at St. John’s on York Street in Bangor, will be held every other year beginning in 2018, the Rev. Brad Morin said Friday.
While the All Souls students were praying in the basement before beginning the Good Friday ritual, Pope Francis was completing the stations at the Colosseum in Rome amid heightened security in preparation for Easter, according to news reports.
For information on Easter services around the state, visit http://bangordailynews.com/community/holy-week-services-4.
Stations of the Cross
1. Jesus is condemned to death.
2. Jesus takes up his cross.
3. Jesus falls for the first time.
4. Jesus meets his mother.
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross.
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
7. Jesus falls for the second time.
8. Jesus meets the weeping women of Jerusalem.
9. Jesus falls for the third time.
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments.
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross.
12. Jesus dies on the cross.
13. Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross and given to his mother.
14. Jesus’ body is laid in its tomb.