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Live Stations for Lay Pauline Coorperators: Bandra Chapter

Live stations of the cross

The Bandra Chapter of Pauline Cooperators in Mumbai held its annual reflection on the Passion and Death of the Divine Master at DSP House on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Commencing with the hymn If you wish to be my disciples, Saint Francis d’Assisi’s invocation, “We adore you, O Christ and we bless you because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world,” helped us keep pace with the stations on Jesus’ Way of the Cross to Calvary.

The narrative on the 12 selected Stations led the gathering of about 20 Cooperators and Sisters into an experience soaked in the Pauline Apostolate of the Media of Social Communications. In response to the Lord’s Command to Love, Ladislaus and Sister Joeyanna, our National Sister-Coordinator, did a Jesus by symbolically washing the feet of three Cooperators.

The important feature of Jesus’ Last Supper love commandment highlighted was the Institution of the Holy Eucharist as a permanent memorial of the Passion-Death-Resurrection Mystery. As Sister Annie, the Sister-Coordinator of the Chapter, received the blessing of Holy Water Crossed Buns and Grapes, symbolizing the Body and Blood of Christ, we recalled our Founder, Blessed James Alberione's, frequent reminder that we, as Pauline, were born of the Word and the Eucharist.

“To prepare us to contemplate Jesus Christ in a spirit of faith during his Passion,” opines Alberione, “the church re-presents him to us in the glory of the Transfiguration. Jesus Christ appears to us as the beloved of the Father, not the condemned offender; he appears to us as the Master of Humanity, the center of history.” This brought us to the Garden of Gethsemane, which is symptomatic of loneliness, betrayal, desertion, and the arrest of that Master of Humanity, Jesus Christ.

Brought face-to-face with the challenges of betrayal, desertion, and loneliness that we sometimes encounter in life, Jesus’ Condemnation to Death reminded the participants of the 9th Commandment: You shall not bear false witness against anybody. With Jesus being falsely accused and Pilate disowning responsibility by washing his hands off the issue, Jesus was mercilessly flogged, humiliated, and crowned with thorns before being laden with the Cross. The Cooperators took turns wearing the Crown of Thorns and bearing the Cross. “O Jesus, Divine Master! For the times we have failed to stand up for what is right and fight what is wrong around us, we are sorry! Help us to prove the genuineness of our sorrow by the sincerity of our lives; we plead.”

Jesus falls under the weight of the Cross, awakened all to the issue of ‘temptation’ on which Alberione cautions us thus: “The devil’s tactic in tempting Jesus is the same one he used with Eve: always deception.” But Alberione also offers us a remedy to temptation as people of the Word, viz., “Scripture wins with truth, opposes lies with truth. That is why we must always resort to prayer.”

The significance of Simon of Cyrene’s sharing the burden of Jesus’ Cross was not lost on the participants. It challenged us to respond conscientiously to the call of the Media Apostolate to help shoulder the Church’s burden of trying to have the Word change the world for the better.

Jesus’ assurance, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do it unto me” (Mt 25:40), found its expression in a touching exercise in imitation of Veronica’s daring act of publicly wiping the face of her Master—all present, symbolically, attempted to wipe the effects of hatred and violence off each other’s faces with a wet wipe.

Luke 23:27–31 would seemingly imply that Jesus was reprimanding the women who grieved his condition on his torturous way to Calvary. Contrarily, we perceived that Jesus was concerned about our youth in terms of faith and morals. The hymn “Change my heart, O Lord” enabled us to reflect on the way we love our children.

The station of Jesus being Stripped of his Garments was a pointer to how the media is misused to deprive upright individuals of their human dignity, with false accusations topping the list—a stark reminder that it was precisely to counter such media misuse that Alberione initiated the apostolate of the Cooperator. The question is, Does our commitment to our faith show in our practice of it? This question provided ample food for thought.

In the context of the Cooperators’ Apostolate and Jesus’ Crucifixion, the fateful Good Friday came through as the murder of TRUTH taking place in everyday life. The full significance of the gruesomeness of the Crucifixion elaborated upon by Ladislaus began to sink into us when we beheld Francis Braganza accept the nailing of his limbs to the cross on behalf of Jesus. And then, for our failure to oppose words and acts of injustice and untruth in the media, and in solidarity with journalists and other media personnel and social activists being mistreated by those in power, all symbolically got themselves crucified with him, holding each other’s hands up on either side of him, singing: We Hail Thee, Saviour, and Lord...

Then, the Death of Jesus on the Cross had all bow their heads in silence, allowing the absoluteness of this station to sink into us and its reality to wash over us. In the process, we became aware of how two of Jesus’ admirers and cooperators swung into action to give him a decent burial: Joseph of Arimathea used his influence to get the body of Jesus, and Nicodemus brought myrrh mixed with aloes to embalm it.  

The sight of Jesus hanging lifeless on the Cross moved all present to take turns pulling out the Nails one by one from his limbs and then, conscious of how we had mockingly crowned him, likewise plucking out the thorns from his brow. And then, as Jesus’ body was brought down from the Cross and placed in the arms of his Blessed Mother, we were at a loss to fathom the depth of the loneliness and pain of Mother Mary who, on Christmas Day gave us our Saviour, born to take away our sins, now beheld him on Good Friday all battered and bloodied! Had her ‘yes’ to God come to naught?

At the laying of the body of Jesus in Joseph’s brand new tomb, what flashed across our minds was that when the going got tough for Jesus, his disciples simply fled the scene, leaving him to the mercy of the soldiers and the consolation of his beloved Mother, Mary, his ardent follower, Mary Magdalene and his favorite disciple, John, standing at the foot of the Cross. Are we being reminded here of how we run away from situations that are opportunities for us to bear witness to Jesus?

 The recitation of Our Father led to the singing of the hymn, God of Mercy and Compassion, pleading with the Father for mercy. Finally, before leaving the place in silence to allow the exercise we just participated in to stir in our very being a greater love for our Crucified Lord, each picked up a Crossed Bun and a Bunch of Grapes to share with our families at home in remembrance of the humbling STATIONS experience.



Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.