Renovated Stations will be a place to pray ‘for centuries to come’

Students and parishioners gathered at Seven Dolors Church in Albany on May 17 for the blessing of the parish cemetery’s recently-renovated Stations of the Cross.

Bishop Patrick Neary, C.S.C., blessed the Stations, assisted by Benedictine Father Edward Vebelun, pastor of Harvest of Hope Area Catholic Community, which includes Seven Dolors, and Benedictine Father Julius Beckermann, parochial vicar.

Students from Holy Family School in Albany participated in the May 17 event. (Photo by Gianna Bonello / The Central Minnesota Catholic)

Students from Holy Family Catholic School, also in Albany, participated in the blessing, reading aloud at each of the 14 stations as Bishop Neary blessed them. They also sang the “Stabat Mater,” a Latin hymn, as they processed from one station to the next.

Abbey Dupuy, director of music and liturgy at St. Benedict Parish, also part of the Harvest of Hope ACC, planned the blessing liturgy. She said that it was important for the students to be involved.

“Because of how their school Masses work, [the students] are used to being really active participants and leaders in worship,” Dupuy said. “It was important to put something together that they could take a leadership role in. We needed to keep it simple enough that it would flow smoothly but meaningful for people to participate who are used to praying the Stations in the traditional way.”

Dupuy said that the liturgy was adapted from the children’s book “The Story of the Cross” by Mary Joslin.

“The kids each had their part to practice, and Kara Kraemer, who’s the music teacher at the school, taught them the Stabat Mater in music class so that they’d be familiar with it and be able to sing it,” she said. “I’m excited about how it came together.”

Dupuy’s twin daughters, Nora and Lucy, both fifth graders at Holy Family Catholic School, participated in the liturgy.

“I thought it was really fun and it was really cool to have the bishop here,” Nora said, while her sister Lucy said she thought the stations were “really pretty.”

One of the renovated Stations. (Photo by Gianna Bonello / The Central Minnesota Catholic)

The Stations of the Cross were first erected in 1918. Father Vebelun called them “well used.”

“Since I’ve been here, every day you see people praying the Stations of the Cross,” he said. “They’ve been well used, very meaningful in this community, and this is a dream that was long in coming.”

The restoration of the Stations was completed this past winter. Father Vebelun said they had hoped to complete the project in the fall, but noted how much work it was. He mentioned that many of the people who donated to the restoration project were present at the blessing.

“Once they got the momentum to do it and had a specific idea, people really rallied to it, so clearly this will be a place where people can pray for centuries to come,” he said.

“This will be a sacred place for people to come to pray and honor their dead,” Father Vebelun said. “That’s what we’re striving for.”

Pictured above: Bishop Patrick Neary blessed each of the 14 stations. (Photo by Gianna Bonello / The Central Minnesota Catholic)


Author: Gianna Bonello

Gianna Bonello is a multimedia reporter for The Central Minnesota Catholic Magazine.

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