Called The Way of the Cross, the traditional Catholic pilgrimage began at St. James Cathedral in Downtown Brooklyn where Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio presided over a short service. Observers then spilled out of the church doors to follow the Rev. Richard Veras, who carried a large wooden cross over the bridge.
The Way of the Cross procession in Brooklyn began in 1996 with a small group of friends. Participants visit five symbolic stations of the cross at St. James Cathedral, a point on the Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall Park, Ground Zero, and finally ending at St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street in Manhattan.
People of all ages followed the somber Friday morning procession — some praying and singing out loud while others stayed silent. My Swiss guests were astounded to see so many people in the procession. I told them, “Having once lived at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, I have seen all sorts of people cross the bridge, from racers, protestors, 9/11 survivors and politicians – now I have seen Jesus crossing too.”