Holy Trinity parishioners spoke to the group about hunger in Oregon.
Holy Trinity parishioners spoke to the group about hunger in Oregon.

A crowd of more than 200 pilgrims, carrying a large cross, slowly moved through the streets of downtown Beaverton March 30 during the 11th Ecumenical Walk of the Cross for Peace and Justice. Children, enjoying spring break, accompanied their parents. “We walk together today, in a spirit of lament,” said Pastor David Randall-Bodman of Bethel United Church of Christ. “As we face the brokenness of our city, we can feel a sense of despair, but God’s reconciling act in Jesus Christ has turned sorrow into joy.”

Spirit of grace

With those words, the walk began. Stopping at the “peace pole,” the Spirit of Grace Catholic and Lutheran community remembered the victims of school shootings and urged, “Put away your weapons.” At the fountains, Pastor John Shuck of Southminster Presbyterian said, “People of color should not have to carry the cross of racism.”

Holy Trinity Parish

The crowd at the farmers market was reminded that Oregon has the highest percentage of people in the United States who are food insecure. We need politicians “genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people and the lives of the poor,” said members of Holy Trinity Parish.

St. Cecilia Parish

The pilgrims continued on their journey to St. Cecilia Church, praying for immigrants, the homeless and abused women.

St. John Fisher Parish

“Respecting the environment requires us to understand that God owns all creation,” said Sister Dorothy Radoli of St. John Fisher Parish as the pilgrims paused in St. Cecilia’s St. Francis garden.

“It demands that we treat it not with extreme violence but with loving care — to give it life,” she said.

At the procession’s end, Father Cary Reniva, pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, blessed the pilgrims and sent them on their way. “Go forth in Jesus’ name as bearers of light, and hope and life.”