Saturday, April 22, 2000

Sacred rituals precede Easter

BY Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Tristate's faithful made the slow, thoughtful climb up the steps of the Holy Cross-Immaculata Church on Mount Adams, attended church services and paraded through downtown Cincinnati on the Christian holiday of Good Friday.

[photo] A line of umbrellas covers the steps of Holy Cross-Immaculata Church in Mount Adams.
| ZOOM |
        The rain and unseasonable cold added to the experience of climbing the steps of Immaculata, said Janet Kelley of Sharonville. “If it is sunny, your mind kind of drifts away ... but this weather sets the right mood.

        “I enjoy the closeness of it, the atmosphere and the historic site of the church,” Mrs. Kelley said.

        It was 24th consecutive Good Friday Deledith Richardson has come to the church.

        “This is the most important religious spiritual landmark in Cincinnati,” Mrs. Richardson said of the hilltop church. “You feel really close to the Virgin Mary. She lost her son and that makes you think about your own children. You think about that while you are praying.”

        More than 300 Catholics and worshipers of other Christian faiths paraded for three hours through downtown Cincinnati re-enacting the Stations of the Cross, which Jesus experienced prior to his crucifixion.

[photo] Fran Stortz of Fort Thomas holds an olive seed Rosary.
| ZOOM |
        Starting at Fountain Square, then through nine prayer stops in the city's central business district and Over-the-Rhine, Way of The Cross/Way of Justice participants prayed and sang. In past years — under better weather — the event usually draws about 1,000.

        “This event isn't a matter of being holy or pious, but of helping the poor and homeless,” said 77-year-old Rita Ulmschneider of Western Hills, who joined in her 14 consecutive Stations of the Cross ceremony.

        She and other older participants said they were especially pleased to see doz ens of teen-agers reading testimonials and prayers.

        “It's nice to let them do some of the expressing, because it's important to let young people think about social justice issues,” said Johanna Meng, member of the Philippus United Church of Christ and steering committee member for Way of The Cross/Way of Justice.

        McAuley High School freshman Claire Zinda said she appreciated the forum for involvement.

        “I hope to participate next year,” said the 15-year-old from Finneytown. “To me education is a top issue and the unequal distribution of wealth.”

        Cincinnati police escorted the crowd and temporarily blocked downtown intersections as it moved to the final destination at Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine.

Special Easter section at

Stadium builders: Steel nerves and iron endurance
Warehouse fire kills 1, hurts 2
Renewed inquiry into adoptions system possible
Talk of Mason-area mall stirs foes
Grant's birthday resurrects past
- Sacred rituals precede Easter
School board moves to fire second-grade teacher
Arts education
10 seek Monroe superintendent job
2nd vote planned on schools boss' job
Clearcreek Township names police chief
EPA defends air rules
Get to it
Group opposes new road in park
Group to give aid in Cuba
Hamilton mayor: Show your water bill, we'll figure overcharge
Hearings today on police unit
Judge rejects asbestos lawsuit
NKU lobbying effort pays off
No contest plea ends pricing case
Officials want accused service station closed
Putting wood in Norwood
Sycamore Twp. buys school
Homes in Mason subdivision to be in $400K neighborhood
Independence ex-chief: Firing was retaliation
PNC Bank branch to reopen
School pact to get 2nd vote
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book