Introducing an Ecological Way of the Cross

Introducing an Ecological Way of the Cross

The following is excerpted from a booklet prepared by the Franciscan Friars Conventual JPIC commission and a combined adaptation from a Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC) parish resource (from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis’s 2022 ACCT) and a Jesuit Refugee Service resource (JRS Renew the Earth—Stations 2022).


The Way of the Cross can be traced to St. Francis of Assisi, who lived at a time when Christian pilgrims could not travel safely to the Holy Land. Francis brought the experience of the Holy Land home, as we bring the Way of the Cross home to our local place of natural beauty. Reflecting on the sufferings of Jesus at each station, we raise the Cross of Christ to remind us that our sister, Mother Earth—our common home—belongs to God, and we ask for strength and unity to care for God’s creation.

These past years with the critical traumas of the relentless COVID pandemic, degradation of lands by fire and flooding, displacement of peoples by drought and rising sea water it seems fitting that we reflect on this unique way of the cross with an emphasis on the eco-conversion that is needed for our time.

Opening Prayer

One Person of the Trinity entered into the created cosmos, throwing in his lot with it, even to the cross. From the beginning of the world, but particularly through the incarnation, the mystery of Christ is at work in a hidden manner in the natural world…

Lord Jesus, today we join you in your Passion,
accompanying you through your greatest trial.
Grant us the courage to keep our eyes open, our ears listening, and our senses aware of what you experience.
May we recognize how your Passion continues in the plight of our sisters and brothers who seek refuge during these unsettling times, fleeing violence, conflict, persecution, and environmental destruction.
May we stay by your side, even if we fall with you.
Animate our steps with your love and hope, although we may not be certain where the journey will end.
Remove all fear and help us to become aware of your presence in all things. Amen


Were you there when they crucified my Lord?


Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

*The hymn is repeated at each Station with a first line variation

The Stations will be posted individually over the next weeks of Lent. Check out our Resources page if you would like to view the entire document.