Growing up in a Catholic household in the Philippines, I went with my parent to stations of the cross several times in Holy Week.
My favourite event of the Holy Week is the procession depicting the Jews soldiers riding horses and leading Jesus to Calvary.
As a citizen in Canada, it would be rare to witness such event but I’m happy to visits stations of the cross in Calgary and nearby places whenever possible.
4 Places to Attend Stations of the Cross in Holy Week
I included a list of places wherein you can join a crowd to pray in the stations of the cross or simply do it on your own or with a small group.
1. St. Mary’s Cathedral
This cathedral is one of the churches I go to on Sunday to attend a mass.
And in Good Friday, you can join a crowd doing the well attended Stations of the Cross in Calgary.
The stations are places nearby St. Mary’s Cathedral, which is the starting point.
You have to dress for the weather. I experienced heavy rain and extreme snow when it was spring already. It’s quite rare to have a fair weather in Good Friday.
In spite of unpredictable weather, people still gather to be reminded of the suffering of Jesus for mankind.
Fourteen persons from the crowd will have the chance to carry a light cross to the next station. Anyone can volunteer. My friend was determined and was lucky to be chosen.
2. Our Lady Queen of Peace, Stations of the Cross
A three-hour drive from Calgary can take you to Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia.
The good thing about the trip is having a scenic view while on the road. You’ll pass by Cochrane, Kananaskis, Canmore, Banff, and Kootenay National Park.
Going through the Stations of the Cross at Queen of Peace is like hiking to a hill.
I am not sure if there’s an organized group in Good Friday similar to St. Mary’s Cathedral. If you attended such event, share your experience in the comment.
Otherwise, anyone can stop by at Queen of Peace anytime.
Back in the flat ground, you can have an ice cream in a cafe. We surely enjoy our treat after a fun hike.
While there, don’t miss the boulders of rock in Invermere if you still have time.
3. Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre
The Stations of the Cross at Mount St. Francis Centre is a contradiction of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Radium Hot Springs.
You have to go through a downhill path.
The starting point is closed to the statue of St. Francis.
If I didn’t walk around during the breaks in the festival I wouldn’t be able to find it. I was able to go through all the Stations of the Cross and even beyond.
Next thing I knew is that I came out in the campground where tents were set up for the attendees of a three-day festival.
I was there for only a day. That’s enough time for me to explore the surroundings of Mount St. Francis.
At the back of the retreat centre is a picturesque view. You have to be there to appreciate how high your location is.
Close by are the horses roaming the fields.
On the other side of the retreat centre is a hiking trail. Don’t forget to bring a bear spray with you in case of an emergency.
4. Cochrane Downtown
Still in Cochrane, my friends and I went to downtown to attend the annual Stations of the Cross.
We want to experience the tradition in a different place so I searched online. If nothing turn up, we plan to go to Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre.
Then I found this event. Unfortunately, I can’t find the exact announcement online.
Who would have thought that we can join a group of people to pray at the Stations of the Cross.
The set up is similar to what we do at the Way of the Cross in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Calgary. We stopped by at different places for each station.
The weather was cold in Cochrane so never underestimate a sunny day.
Before the event we were able to stop by at St. Mary’s Church. We thought that this is the venue. Luckily we were early birds.
We had enough time to reread the information and made it on time.
After the event, we stopped by at a Vietnamese restaurant for a warm soup and wait for the rain to stop.
Attending the Stations of the Cross in Calgary in spring is a sacrifice. Who would want to be out in the cold for an hour or so.
Then again, it’s a few hours of suffering once a year. But the message of carrying our own cross just like Jesus did, must be always remembered.
Do not falter. Let faith endures.