Walking the walk: Cross-bearing Catholics traverse Bklyn Bridge to honor Jesus’s journey to crucifixion

Leading the way: Hundreds of devout Catholics followed faith leaders across the Brooklyn Bridge on Good Friday during the annual procession, Way of the Cross.
Brooklyn Paper
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They followed in his footsteps.

Hundreds of devout Catholics processed across the Brooklyn Bridge behind a massive wooden cross on Friday to commemorate the final journey Jesus took before the Romans crucified him.

Many participants in the 23rd-annual Way of the Cross march started their Good Friday — the day Jesus died, according to the Bible — at Downtown’s Cathedral Basilica of Saint James, where they began their journey alongside such esteemed clergymen as Brooklyn’s top Catholic, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, and his colleague Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who heads the Archdiocese of New York, before walking over the borough’s namesake span and picking up more celebrants along the way, according to a marcher.

“It’s beautiful to see people literally from all walks of life in New York City,” said Christopher Vath, a member of the Catholic faith-based group Communion and Liberation, which stages the event each year. “We had a good crowd.”

Vath directed a roughly 30-person choir that marched behind other Communion and Liberation officials as they led the more than 1,000-person procession over the bridge, stopping five times along the way to sing traditional hymns such as “What Wondrous Live is This” as well as folk and other Easter songs, he said.

“We sort of mix it up, it’s a good mix,” Vath said.

The event preceding Easter Sunday concluded at another Roman Catholic house of worship on the distant isle of Manhattan, after the last of the celebrants stepped off the span in the outer borough.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:46 pm, July 9, 2018
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