Stations of the Cross 2020

For a quarter of a century, the House of Mercy, St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality and Rochester Pax Christi have gathered to commemorate Good Friday, the day on which Jesus was executed by the Roman Empire, and to remember the many ways in which Christ is crucified today, in His people. This Good Friday, the pandemic prevents us from gathering physically; however, this virtual gathering allows us to take the stations beyond Rochester’s central city.

Today, the crucifixion is being reenacted by tens of thousands – dying not on a cross, but in hospitals and nursing homes, isolated from family and friends. Health care workers and emergency personnel courageously emulate Jesus in His role of healer, risking their own lives to save others. They work under conditions of severe shortages – of protective masks and equipment, of ventilators, of hospital beds, of medical personnel. These shortages can be blamed, in part, to a lack of leadership by the current Administration, which downplayed the crisis and lost a month during which supplies and tests could have been manufactured and provided. From a broader perspective, however, the shortages are systemic, the effect of the corporate capitalist takeover of the health “industry,” with its anti-Christian, anti-human ideologies of profit maximization and “just in time” inventories, which led hospitals to keep their supplies of equipment and beds at a “cost effective” minimum, making no allowance for a major crisis. We “stand” here today before the location where Genesee Hospital once stood, demolished in 2010, as its board of directors followed “good” short-sighted capitalist logic and eliminated beds we now desperately need.


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