Brooklyn, MI

Visit the Outdoor Stations of the Cross to Celebrate Easter

Tracy Stengel

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Replica of Pontius Pilates’ Palace.Photo courtesy of the author.

The days are getting warmer, and people are antsy to get outside. Spring is a time for renewal and new beginnings. As Easter approaches, the outdoor Stations of the Cross at St. Joseph’s Shrine in Brooklyn, Michigan offers folks an opportunity to get some fresh air, enjoy some peaceful moments, and meditate on the miracle of Jesus’s death and resurrection. 

The 14 Stations can be viewed in order by taking the easternmost set of stairs (if facing the church, veer to the right.) A multi-level path offers stunning views of Iron Lake. Each Station reminds us of Jesus’s trek to Calvary and His crucifixion. They begin with a replica of Pontius Pilate’s palace and ends at Jesus’s tomb. 

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A spectacular view of Iron Lake.Photo courtesy of the author.

The woodsy, waterfront setting is tranquil and soothing. Note: In order to visit each Station people must traverse stairs, inclines, and winding trails that are not handicap accessible. While the site is family-friendly, it’s best to leave the strollers in the car. The picture below depicts just one set of steps leading to the Stations. 

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On set of steps along the path through the Stations.Photo courtesy of the author.

The Stations of the Cross were meticulously crafted in the 1930s by Mexican artisans Dionicio Rodriquez and Ralph Corona, under the supervision of Leo Ouelette. They used wet cement to mimic stone and wood when sculpting the archways and railings. The colorful mosaic tiles and beautiful stonework transcends visitors to an ancient time. 

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View of Station #3 from Station #4.Photo courtesy of the author.

St. Joseph’s Shrine welcomes the public to stroll through the Stations of the Cross year-round from dawn to dusk at 8743 US-12, Brooklyn, Michigan. Please remember this is an outdoor sanctuary, so be respectful of the grounds and others. There is no admission charge. If you enjoy your visit, consider making a donation to the church. You can specify if you’d like the money to go toward preserving and maintaining the Stations. 

Don’t forget to check out the Potato Famine Memorial at the west end of the parking lot. It remembers the Irish immigrants that settled in Brooklyn who had to flee from the famine in their motherland. 

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The Potato Famine Memorial.Photo courtesy of the author.

Holy Thursday is April 14, 2022, and the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is at 7:00 PM in the church. Afterwards, there will be an Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until midnight in the church. On Good Friday, April 15, 2022, the Passion of Our Lord is at 1:00 PM in the church. At 3:00 PM, the movie “The Passion of the Christ” will be shown in the Family Center located at 8956 US-12, Brooklyn, Michigan.
On Holy Saturday, April 16, 2022, bring in your Easter baskets to be blessed in the church at noon. The Easter Vigil is Saturday at 8:30 PM in the church and a reception will follow in the Family Center. Easter Sunday masses will be in the Family Center at 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM.

If you’ve been to the outdoor Stations of the Cross at St. Joseph’s Shrine, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments. I wish you a happy and blessed Easter!

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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI
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