- Last Updated on Thursday, 27 April 2017 15:02
By Jill Runfola
It was a holy experience as St. Sebastian Church in North Belle Vernon presented “Living Stations” on April 10 at 6:30 p.m.
|Pictured are (l-r): In his role as Jesus, Matthew Harris, Lance Russell, director and teacher, and Joshua Kurian, in 8th grade, as Pilot and Simon.|
Young students were cast in the roles and played their parts well. Directed by fine arts teacher Lance Russell, the program showed the audience the moving last days of Jesus along the way of the cross to Calvary.
St. Sebastian’s principal is Nina Zetty. Students in “Living Stations” attend her St. Sebastian Regional School and are in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. The program has been presented by the church for more than 20 years. Russell, who came to the school in January, brought new life to the production. He began preparing the cast at the beginning of March for the program.
Matthew Harris, in 8th grade, says of his thoughts in portraying Jesus, “I think it’s an honor. I was really excited when he (Mr. Russell) told me I was going to be Jesus. I learned a lot from it—stuff that I never knew really happened, especially from His death.” The part of Mary was played by Anna Sedlak, in the 8th grade.
Russell said about “Living Stations,” “We watch Jesus enter with His disciples and witness the betrayal of Jesus. Then starts the first station. This is where Jesus is condemned to death by Pilot in the crowd.” Costumed students positioned in the audience shout out to crucify him.
He continued, “We travel along with Jesus as he takes up his cross. On this journey, he is united with his mother Mary. We also meet Veronica, and she wipes the sweat and blood off him with her veil which causes a miracle to happen—an image of Jesus appears on the veil. We continue our journey throughout the stations, and we will watch Jesus be stripped of his clothes and be nailed to the cross. We hear Jesus’ last breath in which he says, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ Jesus will be taken down from the cross and put in the tomb.” By His Holy Cross, He has redeemed the world.
Russell concluded, “It’s an honor to go back and trace the footsteps of Jesus and His journey with the cross—with it being a sad time of persecution, and with it being a time of beauty and love at the end.”