Good Friday Walk for Justice set for March 29
Online Staff Report
Rockford Urban Ministries’ (RUM) annual Good Friday Walk for Justice will begin at 9 a.m. on Good Friday, March 29, from the parking lot of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 412 N. Church St. The walk is free and open to those who wish to walk and pray for the city.
“We will walk to 14 stations, where we will stop and pray,” said Stanley Campbell, director of RUM. This will be the 28th year of the walk.
The 14 stations, or stops, go through downtown, “most representing the community’s attempt to help those less fortunate, such as Luther Center and Frank Ware/Rosecrance,” Campbell said. “The stops have also included places that need improvement in the city’s compassion — such as the jail and a bank. We also pray for our leaders at the state and federal buildings, for better communication through the newspaper, and a special prayer at the bridge for east-west side relations.”
The walk takes about an hour and 15 minutes. “At the first station, we honor Emmanuel Episcopal’s Shelter Care Ministries, which serves the mentally ill homeless,” Campbell said. “Jesus wants us to help these, the least of His brethren. From there, we carry our 10-foot, 75-pound wooden cross to the Rockford Mass Transit terminal and pray for the people who use our city’s transportation system.”
This year, the new stop will be at the new Federal Building, where prayers will be said to welcome the immigrant.
RUM took the Way of the Cross to the streets of Rockford in 1985. “We take these prayers out of the church and move into the community as a symbol of our commitment to put our faith into action,” Campbell said.
The “Way of the Cross” began during the Middle Ages, when people would make pilgrimages to Jerusalem. “The trips were fraught with danger,” Campbell said, “so the Catholic Church decided those who wished to show their devotion to the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows) could do so in their own churches.”
Originally, there were a variety of “stations,” or stops, along the way, but the number was finally set at 14. Some of the Stations of the Cross, i.e., Veronica’s veil, and the three falls of Christ, are not scriptural but are part of legend and tradition. Most of the other stations have roots in the Bible.
A complete list of the stops is as follows:
1. Start at Shelter Care Ministries (Emmanuel Episcopal), 412 N. Church St. and walk to …
2. RMTD downtown bus station;
3. Former Janet Wattles Mental Health Center, 526 W. State St.;
4. The new jail;
5. Federal Building, 211 S. Court St.;
6. Public Safety Building, 420 W. State St.;
7. Illinois State Office Building, 200 S. Wyman St.;
8. Rock River, behind the bank building;
9. Register Star newspaper office, 99 E. State St.;
10. Bridge — stop in the middle just to say a short prayer;
11. Luther Center, 111 W. State St., but down along the river;
12. Veterans Statue, Mulberry and North Main Street;
13. Rockford Public Library, 215 N. Wyman St.; and
14. Beattie Park Mounds — Beattie Park, North Main Street, to honor Native Americans.
Last year, the walk took an hour and 15 minutes. Anywhere from 50 to 100 are expected to participate.
Contact RUM at (815) 964-711 with any questions.
Posted March 7, 2013
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