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Faith, emotion on display at Way of the Cross

Posted March 29, 2013
Updated March 30, 2013

— A Catholic community in Siler City gathers every Good Friday to vividly re-enact one of the most pivotal and devastating events in Christian history. The Living Way of the Cross features players in the role of Jesus, his accusers and a scornful crowd, urging him along to a violent death.

It is an afternoon when faith and emotion prove ever-powerful. 

"It's extremely difficult for the players to jeer and chastise," said Sue Szary. Easter services around the area

They have been commemorating Good Friday in this way at St. Julia Catholic Church for about 20 years. Over that time, the congregation and surrounding Siler City, have grown as people flocked to work in the area's chicken processing plants.

"Suddenly, the church became huge," said member Audrey Schwankl. It now counts about 2,000 members.

Spectators say it is hard to watch. But they return year after year because their faith also tells them of the story's happy ending. 

"It is a major part of our salvation where Jesus lays down his life for our sake, suffering for our sins and taking him to the cross," said Rev. Jim Flukes. "Continuing the thought that he is with us, leading us and carrying our own crosses."

Good Friday Chatham County church marks Good Friday with powerful reenactment


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