On behalf of all of our volunteers at the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference and our blogging team, we extend our prayers for a blessed Holy Week and joyous Easter to all of you!
Tomorrow I will be traveling “back home” to St. John the Evangelist, the parish I grew up in, to spend the Holy Triduum and Easter with my family. I am very blessed to spend these holy days there as the parish has the “perfect place” to meditate on the suffering and death of Christ, The Shrine of Christ’s Passion. The prayer trail is a half-mile long with over 40 life size bronze statues depicting the final hours of Jesus’ life. The journey begins with the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane and travels with Jesus to Calvary, as you prayerfully ponder his suffering, and ends with a glorious Ascension scene.
At each station, you can hear a description of the scene and corresponding prayer narratated by CBS veteran journalist Bill Kurtis as music is played over the speaker system. Over 1000 trees and bushes have been planted to recreate the Holy Land to make the pilgrimage more realistic. Over 2000 people will gather to pray together on Good Friday, but the trail is open year round. I have been able to journey the trail several times, and found it perfectly spaced to pray a decade of the rosary between each station of the cross. I took my children with me last time and they were really able to appreciate and more fully understand what the stations meant. If you are ever headed towards the Chicagoland area, I would highly recommend it. You can also take a virtual journey with the photographic tour online on their website.
In addition to the Shrine of Christ’s Passion, St. John Parish also has the Sanctity of Life Shrine, a bronze statue of Jesus with tears running down His face, holding an unborn baby, the Marian Wayside Shrine, a large hand carved Italian Marble Statue erected in 1954 and also the Our Lady of the New Millennium Statue, a 34-foot-tall stainless steel statue weighing 8400 lbs. My children’s favorite part was the huge visitor center which has a beautiful Catholic Gift Shop with over 10,000 items! The parish also has a gorgeous new church, a day chapel (where I was married!) and the original church, an old log cabin that has been renovated and now serves as a 24 hour Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.
To get a feel for what its like to be there, check out this youtube video:
For more information, call (219) 365-6010 or visit www.shrineofchristspassion.org.