Deacon creates Stations of the Cross for Florida parish

And it’s one of several interpretations of this popular devotion now thriving in Orlando — and around the world.

From Florida Catholic:

History traces rudimentary elements of the Way of the Cross to the second century and the devotion as celebrated today to the Middle Ages. There are many expressions with varying stations, but all focus on Jesus’ final days of earthly life. Here in the Orlando Diocese, expressions of that journey are vibrant, compelling, alive.

“It was exactly what I had prayed for all along,” said Deacon Al Castellana of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Winter Park. On Nov. 10, 2010, at 10 p.m., he entered the church and installed the fourteen Stations of the Cross it had taken him two-plus years to create. It was his 80th birthday.

“Father Derk (Schudde, pastor) and I prayed all through,” Deacon Castellana continued, “and there’s a little bit of me in each one.”

Deacon Castellana spent a full year researching stations on the Internet and decided on a 15-by-19-inch rectangular shape with high relief that would fit the church columns. He made multiple drawings and, with Father Schudde’s encouragement, committed to clay the fourth station, “Jesus meets his mother.” It was their test sample.

In explaining his fourth traditional Station of the Cross, Deacon Castellana said “Jesus is holding his cross like a champion.

“He’s not suffering. He’s going to do it. There’s the masculinity of holding the weapon and the gentle touch of Mary touching his beard and the same thing of him holding her face,” Deacon Castellana continued. “Their eyes are really gazing at each other and at one place you can see a little smirk — ‘Look, mom, I’m making it.’”

Deacon Castellana recalled that when Father Schudde saw the station, the deacon could see the priest was “a little misty in the eyes.” It was then Deacon Castellana knew the project could move forward.

“We certainly looked at it in a prayerful way,” explained Father Schudde. “The stations are often seen from a distance, but we looked at it as the best close-up shot — at the heart of that moment. It’s not really artwork; it’s prayer — prayer molded into clay. People see the love and prayer behind it and you really see they are an extension of Al’s personality and love for the Lord.”

Read more about this devotion at this link.

And you can see how we do it at my parish right here.

  • Brother Jeff

    That is really good. It reminds me of the scene in Passion by Mel Gibson when Mary comforts Jesus half way through and he says “see, Mother, I make all things new.”

  • fr. john shedlock

    Dear Deacon Greg, is there a composite set of images of the Stations of the Cross that Deacon Al has provided?

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    Fr J … I’ve searched on the internet without any success. You might try to contact the good deacon at this parish — which, by the way, has a lovely website, and a beautiful church (check out the multimedia photo gallery!)

    Dcn. G.


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