Chicago Good Friday tradition of 'Via Crucis' returns to Pilsen without COVID-19 restrictions

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Easter weekend starts with Good Friday and several events are happening to commemorate Holy Week.

In Pilsen, a long-standing tradition of "Living Way of the Cross" or "Via Crucis" returns without any COVID-19 restrictions.

Parishioners reunited with some old faces as the long-time tradition got back to normal.

"It's great," said parishioner Jose Medina. "We've been waiting for it for the last two years."

The tradition which dates back to 1977 returned to several churches in Pilsen with a live reenactment of the crucifixion near 18th Street.

"It's basically a live version of what Jesus went through during his resurrection," said Destiny Barajas, participating as the Virgin Mary.

Barajas joined people of all ages in the reenactment. It's special for these traditions to be passed on through generations.

"I enjoy it because my grandma. Since I was little, she was very religious and always wanted us to participate through church," Barajas said. "Now that she's passed, it's really heartwarming to know from above she's watching us and I know I'm making her proud with participating in this."

The reenactment was followed by the procession through the neighborhood which makes it to Harrison Park for the crucifixion.

After two years of pandemic impacted services, parishioners are happy to be back in person.

"You get to see people we haven't seen in years and just the walking too, get to see the neighborhood and get to see the different churches we stop at, it's a great tradition and we love it," Medina said.

You can watch Easter Sunday Mass at Holy Name right here on ABC7 this weekend. It will air at noon, instead of the usual 9:30 a.m. time slot.
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