Pilsen residents mark Good Friday

March 29, 2013 4:11:07 PM PDT
Thousands of residents from Chicago's Pilsen community marked Good Friday by reenacting the crucifixion of Jesus at various churches.

Many families have attended the festivities at Providence of God Church for decades.

"My dad arrived here when he was 18 and he's 62 now so every year it's a family tradition to come on Good Friday," said Odalinda Avila.

It began with the Last Supper inside the church. Then the procession headed outside.

A large crowd gathered to witness the reenactment.

Some spectators described the sight as moving.

"I realized not everybody present was Catholic, and probably not everybody was Christian. I'm sure there were curiosity-seekers on the street, it didn't matter, Christian, Catholic, non-Catholic, non-Christian. . . The whole street went silent, it was really impressive to see," said bystander Randy Norman.

"Jesus is very important to me, and I wanted to fulfill the Lent season with something that would be very spiritual and moving," said Linda Chirbas.

The crowd then made its way to Harrison Park on 18th Street for the crucifixion. After, there was a full house at St. Adalbert Church as gatherers listened to Francis Cardinal George give a Good Friday blessing.

At the Living Way of the Cross, the Good Friday tradition is spreading, attracting more Christians from all walks of life.

"It's just beautiful. There are so many people united really focusing on what is happening today? It's beautiful to see so many people from all over united in that," said April Pickett, Missionary Youth Group.