By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Since 2013, students at St. Ambrose University have offered Lenten reflections on the Stations of the Cross in an online format.
Chris Clow, the university’s director of music ministry and liturgy, said new station reflections are added each year by current students. Previous reflections remain posted.
He said the idea came from other Catholic colleges/universities that offer online resources and use student contributions. “We (campus ministry) thought that was a good idea and eventually came up with the idea to focus on the stations. It allowed us to both reach out to students and provide a way for them to offer spiritual reflections during Lent as well as provide an easy avenue for people to digitally view the stations of Father Edward Catich online.” Fr. Catich founded the St. Ambrose art department and was known worldwide for his calligraphy.
Clow said in the beginning it was tough to get enough reflections. But it has been easier each succeeding year. Students choose a station they would like to write about. Some ask for suggestions to help get the process moving. “This year, especially, I have been blown away by the response and thoughtfulness of our students in writing these. They are always impressive and I am particularly proud of this year’s students.”
Sarah Adams, a junior from Davenport studying theology and marketing, wrote her first reflection last year and another one this year. “I chose the 4th station: Jesus meets his mother. My inspiration for this station was the importance of small acts of love, like that of Mary who showed Jesus she cared by simply walking with him on his journey and being a friendly face in the crowd. I believe that Mary is a great example of how to live out a life of faith and love, and what is Lent for if not strengthening our faith lives and becoming more loving? We can use her as a model for our Lenten journeys.”
Samantha Sharp, a sophomore from Rock Island, Ill., studying biology/pre-med, wrote her first reflection this year. “After some discernment, I decided to reflect on what the stations meant to me.” She chose five stations and noted that station 14 was one of her top choices, which she ended up being assigned.
“My inspiration behind the station was the thought of carrying people. I decided to talk about my aunt, who had passed away in October. It was a very hard time for my uncle and my dad because within the span of five years they lost both of their sisters. When she was diagnosed with cancer, everything went really fast. It was a time for my siblings and me to ‘carry’ my dad, to be the shoulder he needed to cry on, even though he doesn’t really cry! I placed myself in the position of the men carrying Jesus to the tomb.”
Jake Komel, a junior from Lombard, Ill., majoring in theology, said he chose the third station, which reflects on Jesus falling for the first time. “We (all) fall in some sort of way. However, since Jesus got up, he gives us the courage to get up as well.”
Pictures of the Catich Stations of the Cross, along with student reflections, can be visited at https://saustations.blogspot.com/.