Calwa Stations of the Cross

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Stations of the Cross procession in a small valley neighborhood always draws a large gathering on Good Friday and has provided effective community outreach for decades.

The procession can be very emotional for those who take part.

Parishioners at St. Anthony Mary Claret Church sing, walk, then stop and pray at 14 stations of the cross in this neighborhood near Calwa.

"We get together, a lot of people coming out that don't go to church and they see this and they get interested and they like it," said Edward Medina.

Many carried umbrellas to shield them from the sun.

Those who took part dressed as Roman soldiers as well as followers of Jesus.

The scenes depict Jesus' day of crucifixion.

Father Art Gramaje has watched how the procession strengthens his church.

"It's a powerful event because of the cross. So many different people bear different crosses and our parish and our neighborhood and our world so this really symbolizes suffering and the redemption of suffering in our faith."

Several families lined the streets to watch the procession from their yard, just as their parents did when they were younger.

"It's nice for the community and brings us all together to celebrate what we believe in," said Angel Martinez.

The event has grown over the years and now draws many people from outside of the neighborhood to join in the services.
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