History - An Unexpected Request

"What can you do with Holy week, Kelly?" were Msgr. Hurley's words

"What can you do with Holy Week next year?" from Msgr. Hurley, now Bishop Hurley of the Grand Rapids diocese, were the words that began our Living Stations Ministry at Our Lady of Sorrows. Producing the RCIA Reflection and the Living Nativity that year gave me the credibility I needed to start our important work on the Living Stations of the Cross. Easter 2002 was on March 31st. I had 3 months. God had called me to do this work, but I had no idea how I could ever make it happen.I knew that God had to intervene! This was a massive endeavor: the kind of production that would take a year with a full-time staff. It was not possible without God's help! 

For three months, God provided one small miracle after another to put the pieces together. People started volunteering to help. I won't go into detail with every miracle, but here is one of the most startling and a great confirmation that God was working behind the scenes. I just had to pray unceasingly, listen intently, and trust that He would lead me.

I found a church on the east side of Detroit that had performed a Passion play in the 1980's. I set up an appointment to meet with the music minister. He said that he found an old script and I could have it. I packed up my two toddler boys in our minivan and drove about 45 minutes. At this point, I had 75 days until Good Friday. I had no costumes, no props, no music, and I didn't know any Catholics who sang very well yet!

Living Stations of the Cross is "hatched!" 

God heard all our prayers and with the help of many, we created and produced the Living Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, March 31, 2002 Our Lady of Sorrows in Farmington, Michigan. We started with a small group of about 30 dedicated people. The church was packed that day, standing room only. We estimated that there were over a hundred people who had to be turned away because "there was no room at the Inn!" As we walked the body of Jesus up the aisle, we could hear men, women, and children weeping all around us. The response was overwhelming. We knew then that people were thirsting for this type of experience.The response was so positive that Bishop Hurley added an additional day to our schedule the following year.

Volunteers were easier to recruit after they had witnessed the power of this production. The testimonies, letters, and stories of how this prayer had touched the lives of people that first year were unbelievable. In 2003, 2004, and 2005, we performed the Living Stations on Good Friday at noon and on Palm Sunday night at 8 p.m. Since 2006, we have performed The Living Stations of the Cross on Friday and Sunday nights of Palm Sunday weekend in order to prepare our community for Holy Week.

Thirteen years later, this same dedicated group of people has blossomed into a ministry of over 70 cast and crew, men, women, and children ages 6-70. With fifteen core families and tremendous support from the parish and community, we spend hundreds of hours each year in preparation for our Lenten performances.

Living Stations moves the Cathedral

In order to bring the story to the masses, we founded Living Faith-Fine Arts Apostolate, a 501c(3) Non-Profit Corporation, and raised $70,000, including a grant from Our Sunday Visitor, to produce the epic theatrical version of Living Stations at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in 2011 and 2012. Over 44,000 people have witnessed this life-changing event.

Described as the Broadway version of the Passion of Christ, Living Stations is a deeply moving musical journey through Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Acclaimed as a spiritual wake-up call, it’s a visual realization of what Christ went through on the cross. This prayerful performance brings people to the foot of the cross to experience Jesus’ final hours in a way that becomes a personal and profound encounter with our Savior. Through email and personal testimonials, we’ve been privileged to hear of many returning to their faith, to the Church, and many hearts of non-believers have been changed.

It is impossible to put a price on the spiritual impact of Living Stations. More than 7,000 students attended the Cathedral performances in 2011 and 2012. Letters from parents, teachers, priests, and students confirm that Living Stations is an incredibly powerful way to educate and inspire our young people. Participating in Living Stations each year brings the story of Salvation History to life and draws students into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. “This changed my son. It changed me! Easter will never be the same,” said Sherrie in 2012.  Father Charlie Fox, Secretary to Archbishop Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit said, “My studies at the seminary are focused on the ‘New Evangelization.’ This is exactly what Pope John Paul II meant when he used that expression. It is a bridge between where people are and where God wants them to be!”

Another "Message from God" births Act 2! 

Remarkably, God has laid another important mission on my heart, to write Act 2 “The Empty Tomb to Pentecost.” This is our story, the start of the church! Jesus had resurrected, but the Apostles were still hiding in a locked room. The Holy Spirit had to descend on Pentecost to enable them to “make disciples of all nations!” We too have been called to a New Evangelization, but we need the New Pentecost before we can effectively evangelize to the world!  The union of Living Stations and Act 2 is now called The Cross & The Light.  Churches, theaters, schools and other organizations are able to produce this powerful production by purchasing a performance license for one of the following: The Cross (Act 1 only), The Light (Act 2 only,) or The Cross & The Light. 

Looking toward the future, we plan to produce The Cross & The Light at Music Hall in Detroit in 2013. Our goal is to evangelize to a broader audience, reach out to all Christian denominations and other religions, increase the number of attendees per show, and be able to perform during Holy Week. Plans are also in place to tour The Cross and the Light in five major metropolitan cities in 2014. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please prayerfully consider helping our ministry spread this life saving message to the world by making a one-time donation. We are eternally grateful for your prayers and financial support. Click here