2014-03-20 CôTE DIVOIRE

Stations of the Cross with the little ones

It’s the first Friday after Ash Wednesday. We have just informed the little children in our primary school that we will be having the Stations of the Cross. Many of them scream in excitement at this announcement. They are happy of course and you can see it from the reaction and the smiles they put on.

We begin the Stations of the Cross at around 4.30pm after the sound system has repeatedly failed us. It’s difficult to project one’s voice in an open environment with a population of about 730 pupils and 20 staff members. It’s even more difficult for the children to be quiet as they are all in primary and nursery school. Despite all this we start with our prayers. After saying the introductory prayers followed by the first station, everyone kneels down and listens to the reflections being read. While a good number of the children probably wonder about what is going on, others are listening attentively to what is being read.  Each reflection is followed by the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) and am impressed by the way our children recite this prayer with great devotion. It’s surely what they understand best among all what is being said and done.

Our School (Centre Scolaire St Marcelin Champagnat, Bouaké) has a large population of Muslim students but they all participate joyfully in the Stations of the Cross. After each station we move solemnly to the next station while singing and everyone joins in. At the end of it all, the concluding prayer is said and since its Friday, we have our last assembly and everyone goes home. 

This is certainly how our Fridays will be spent during this period of lent; praying and reflecting on the Stations of the Cross with our young ones, teachers and neighbours. 


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