Owen Sokol portrays Jesus in a live Stations of the Cross held at Holy Family School in Southeast Portland. (Courtesy Holy Family School)
Owen Sokol portrays Jesus in a live Stations of the Cross held at Holy Family School in Southeast Portland. (Courtesy Holy Family School)
On Good Friday, Holy Family School fifth graders presented a moving, reverent depiction of Stations of the Cross for the first time since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. The entire student body, faculty/staff, parents/families and parishioners were present. Living Stations, as the re-enactment is called, has been an annual event at Holy Family for almost 40 years.

“When I was a student teacher in 2005, students presented the Living Stations and I was amazed,” said Liz Richard, fifth grade religion teacher. “I find them to be incredibly powerful.”

Every student in fifth grade participated. Students met with Richard and homeroom teacher Taylor Anderson to share their choices for roles. Students were asked to provide logical, ethical and emotional reasons for their hopes. Students who are active in their faith and know the importance of the person they wished to portray were selected for key roles.

“The Living Stations is definitely one of my favorite church events,” said Oliver Greenlee, who portrayed Simon. “I love to watch other classes do it, but this year my class got to do it and it felt so real.” Strong readers and public speakers were selected for the crucial roles of narration.

All students take their responsibility for sharing this deeply emotional story very seriously, and many attendees were teary-eyed.

“It was an honor to play Mary because she is very inspirational in how she helps Jesus,” said Sloane Cahill, who portrayed Mary.

“I was excited to give younger kids the opportunity to learn about Stations of the Cross,” said Owen Sokol, who portrayed Jesus.