CARIBOU — Parishes often include the Stations of the Cross in their Lenten observances because it is a season in which we are called to deeper prayer and reflection on Christ’s Passion and death. This year, due to the pandemic, the presentations are being offered in a variety of ways, from small, spread out gatherings to livestreams.

In Caribou, the creativity has come from Catholic children. 

“Usually we have our kindergarten through fifth-grade kids do a living Stations of the Cross and they do such an amazing job at making you feel that you were there at Christ’s Passion. Parishioners were disappointed that this would not happen this year,” said Stella Carlstrom, parish catechetical leader at the Parish of the Precious Blood, which includes the churches of Caribou, Presque Isle, Portage, Washburn, Fort Fairfield, Mars Hill, Limestone, Ashland and Stockholm.

Technology, as well as the will to make it happen despite obstacles, coupled to create a wonderful presentation.

“While I was at a Zoom meeting, the idea came: individual families could record it on their cell phone and then have it pieced together,” said Stella. “I’m in no way an IT person, but one of the dads in our program is. I ran it by him and he said no problem. He even wrote and played the music for it!”

Anyone can enjoy the presentation at any time by visiting www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR26yMx1sQj44gKIJ45Mkx3tNFSGCfGUYZd4GoPfdoMnE7BPmZycddjO1Bo&v=ULhK1d8rYm8&feature=youtu.be.

As fun as the project was for the kids, its creation holds deeper meaning for parishioners who have been unable to attend in-person Masses during the pandemic.

“My goal was to have our ‘at home’ parishioners participate in the Stations anytime throughout Lent and, at the same time, see the kids that they are missing,” said Stella. “I am very pleased with the outcome and so grateful for the people that made it happen.”

The Stations of the Cross began in the days of the early Church when pilgrims would journey to Jerusalem to retrace the final steps taken by Jesus Christ.  Later, for the many who could not make the trip to the Holy Land, the practice developed of praying the Stations of the Cross at one’s home church. The Stations of the Cross traditionally follow the same 14 steps, beginning with Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and concluding when he is laid in the tomb. For a list of the many Stations of the Cross presentations planned around Maine this Lent, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/stations-cross.