February 5, 2021

Archbishop, priests to offer Stations of the Cross reflection podcasts during Lent this year

By Natalie Hoefer

To help members of the archdiocese still struggling with feeling isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the archdiocese is offering a series of Stations of the Cross podcasts this Lent.

Each of the 28 episodes—14 in English (also made available in American Sign Language via separate videos) and 14 in Spanish—will include a scriptural reflection focusing on Jesus’ walk to the cross, as well as an idea for fasting, almsgiving and works of mercy.

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson and more than 20 priests throughout the archdiocese will host the approximately 5-10-minute podcasts. (See podcast schedule)

“The Stations of the Cross, for many Catholics, are one of the most familiar prayer practices of Lent,” explained Laura Sheehan, project coordinator for the archdiocese’s Catholic Charities-Social Concerns office. She is one of four staff members on the archdiocese’s COVID Pastoral Response Team that developed and coordinated the podcast project.

“Many do not yet feel comfortable or are not able to return to the physical sacred spaces of our churches where we normally have encountered the Lord during Lent through such practices as the Stations of the Cross,” she said.

The stations will be based on those prayed by St. John Paul II on Good Friday in 1991.

“They’re Scripture-based, so slightly different from the ones that are hanging in our churches,” said fellow team member Theresa Chamblee, director of Catholic Charities-Social Concerns.

“The hope is that, by listening to reflections by our archdiocesan priests, in some small way people will feel more connected spiritually with their archdiocesan community.”

Archbishop Thompson shares her hope.

“The Stations of the Cross podcasts, in some way, are akin to the Franciscan spirit that first brought the Stations of Cross to those who could not make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in order to retrace the footsteps of Jesus’ passion and death,” he said.

“Since our ability to gather has been greatly compromised by the limitations involving the pandemic, the podcasts are a creative means to bring the Stations of the Cross to those who cannot otherwise gather together.

“They are yet another example of the creativity and talent that exists in the archdiocese to provide ongoing pastoral and spiritual outreach to the people of God throughout central and southern Indiana.”

Father Timothy DeCrane, associate pastor of St. Monica Parish in Indianapolis, will also host an episode.

“I think last year with Lent, we had a very real opportunity to know what suffering really meant and focus on God when things are out of our control,” he said.

“We’re still in the pandemic and will be in Lent. But it’s not new anymore, so there’s less of a desire to offer up the challenges of mask-wearing, social distancing and, for some, continued isolation.

“The podcasts are a good way to look at the Stations of the Cross and realize Christ bore all those things patiently, and reflect on how we continue to deal with challenges in our lives.”

The advantage to using a podcast format is that “podcasts can be listened to anywhere through our smart devices or home computers,” Chamblee explained. “People can listen to them on their commute to work or at home. They can listen to them during their prayer time or while getting ready in the morning.

“Our hope is that the podcasts will provide a powerful Lenten prayer experience for the listener, that through each podcast, people will develop a deeper relationship with Christ by reflecting on his Passion.”

(The podcasts and ASL videos will be available at 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays during Lent at www.archindy.org/Lent2021. The podcasts will also be available on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple podcasts.)

Podcast schedule

The archdiocese is offering podcasts this Lent reflecting on a Scripture-based Stations of the Cross, as prayed by St. John Paul II on Good Friday 1991.

The 28 podcasts—14 in English (with separate American Sign Language videos available) and 14 in Spanish, each about 5-10 minutes long—will be available by 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at www.archindy.org/Lent2021 and on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple podcasts.

They will be hosted by Archbishop Charles C. Thompson and more than 20 priests throughout central and southern Indiana.

Following is a schedule of the podcasts, as well as who will offer each episode and in what language.

—Feb. 16, Station 1: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Father Eric Johnson (English), Father John McCaslin (Spanish).

—Feb. 18, Station 2: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested. Father Douglas Hunter (English), Conventual Franciscan Father Mark Weaver (Spanish).

—Feb. 23, Station 3: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin. Father Christopher Wadelton (English and Spanish).

—Feb. 25, Station 4: Jesus is Denied by Peter. Father Rick Nagel (English), Father Nicholas Ajpacaja Tzoc (Spanish).

—March 2, Station 5: Jesus is Judged by Pilate. Father Michael Keucher (English and Spanish).

—March 4, Station 6: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns. Archbishop Thompson (English and Spanish).

—March 9, Station 7: Jesus Bears the Cross. Father Jude Meril Christopher Sahayam (English), Father Vincent Gillmore (Spanish).

—March 11, Station 8: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross. Father Jeremy Gries (English), Spanish—TBD.

—March 16, Station 9: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem. Father Dustin Boehm (English), Spanish—TBD.

—March 18, Station 10: Jesus is Crucified. Father Todd Goodson (English and Spanish).

—March 23, Station 11: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief. Father Douglas Marcotte (English), Father Timothy DeCrane (Spanish).

—March 25, Station 12: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and Disciple. Father Jeffrey Dufresne (English and Spanish).

—March 30, Station 13: Jesus Dies on the Cross. Father Jonathan Meyer (English), Father Anthony Hollowell (Spanish).

—April 1, Station 14: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb. English—TBD, Father Michael O’Mara (Spanish). †

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