... photos by Bruce Hollett
... text by Lisa Phillips
... audio by Mike Browarski
Each year on Good Friday, hundreds of Chicagoans gather to escort a modern-day Jesus to his crucifixion. A phalanx of Pilsen parishioners portray the prophet, Pontius Pilate, the Roman guards, Mary, and the other women who accompanied Jesus to Calvary.
Followers paraded twelve blocks from the Providence of God Church at 18th and Halsted to Harrison Park in grey, windy spring weather, stopping for the Stations of the Cross along the way. At a small hill in the park, Jesus was bound to the cross and lifted into dark skies. Silent until that point, a boom microphone was then lifted to his face so he could shout, in Spanish, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
The mood was mostly somber, but large numbers of photographers and media, as well as noisy Chicago Streets and Sanitation sweepers following in the rear, were a constant reminder that this was just a show for many. A Spanish television station pulled one of the guards to the side of the hill even before Jesus was taken off the cross to interview him. He nodded and smiled while answering the young anchorwoman's questions, then went back to his role.