The community of St John Paul II Catholic College Schofields & Nirimba gathered to remember the Passion of Christ with a moving and powerful Stations of the Cross Liturgy.
With a focus on love through forgiveness, the Liturgy took students and staff through the Stations of the Cross using inspirational and life-changing quotes from prominent figures throughout history sharing how their faith helped them in times of adversity and need.
The school was also blessed to be joined by Oatlands mum Leila Abdallah who represented the ninth station, Jesus falls for the third time. Leila shared her powerful advocacy for forgiveness in response to the loss of three of her children and her niece in a tragic accident last year.
“Three reasons to fall,” Leila’s quote read. “Sienna, Angelina, Antony. What is life without your children?”
“We all have a Cross to carry,” Leila said in her address to the school. “Forgiveness is a sign of strength. It is the core message of Easter and the core message of our Christianity.”
Other Stations of the Cross shared a quote from those who turned to their faith in times of need including Nelson Mandela, St Mary MacKillop, Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai and Sophie Delezio.
Accompanied with beautiful music played and sung by JPII students and staff, Nal Wijesekera the school’s Director of Learning in Religious Education said they were inspired by the idea of hope through forgiveness and used the symbol of students’ handprints to represent their faith through their hearts and hands.
“In the midst of the Passion there is always hope,” Nal said. “If you want to find true love, look to the Cross. We are called to go out and share it with others.”
The Liturgy was well received by students, many of whom were heard positively talking with their peers about it afterward.
“It was so touching and really affected me,” said Year 7 student Tiana Cutajar. “It makes me appreciate my family and everything that I have and the power of forgiveness.”
“I really took a lot away from the Liturgy, especially about forgiveness,” said Year 10 student Ashley Dias, who was also involved in representing one of the Stations of the Cross. “It was very different to previous years. It was relevant and fresh and put a new perspective on what we have seen before.”
Primary students from Mary Immaculate Primary Quakers Hill and St Joseph’s Primary Schofield’s also experienced a similar Liturgy the day before on Wednesday 31 March.
With thanks to Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.