For my post today I wanted to extend a warm invitation to the whole ACNM community to experience Good Friday in a whole new way!
You are invited to join the Schoenstatt Movement of Austin as they make their annual Good Friday Pilgrimage. This will not only be a ten-mile walk along the way of the cross, but a unique theatrical prayer experience: accompanied by Mary, we will contemplate the suffering of Christ through theatrical encounters with the people He met along His journey to Calvary.
The afternoon begins on Friday, April 6th at 3pm at St. Mary’s Cathedral, and ends in West Lake at the future site of the first Marian shrine in the Diocese of Austin. More information, including route info and contact information, can be found on the Facebook event page, just search for “good friday pilgrimage.”
To help you all get a sneak peek into what this Passion and Pilgrimage will be like, I interviewed Megan McQuaid, Director and Playwright of “I Thirst.” Megan does more than study theatre at UT, she lives it! She has been involved in the production of numerous dramas within and beyond the university community. Most recently, Megan, in conjunction with other UT Catholics, wrote and performed an interpretation of the nativity called “A Very Mary Christmas.” In this unforgettable nativity, I witnessed first hand the deep spirituality and subtle style that Megan brings to her work. About “I Thirst,” Megan says,
I could not be more excited about this incredible interactive theatrical prayer experience that I have been given the opportunity to help create. As a theatre artist, I try to make every play I work on an act of love to the audience, and this work is the essence of that–of being able to love an audience through my work by showing them LOVE– Christ’s unfailing, undying, immortal, eternal burning LOVE. I hope that weaving the play into the pilgrimage will help to make it a more prayerful, reflective experience for the pilgrims and connect their sacrificial walking more tangibly to Christ’s way of the cross.
I challenge you to step outside the box of your usual routine to pray this Good Friday in a whole different way. Make no mistake about it, the ten mile hike through those West Lake hills will allow us to place ourselves in mind and body in communion with Christ – the way is steep! And prayer will be essential.
Megan also talked to me about what inspired the name of the play:
The play is entitled “I Thirst”, and just in themes of the play itself, I really wanted to show the interconnectedness of all of the events in salvation history and how they culminate in the cross: we get to see Simeon the prophet who circumcised Jesus, spilling His Precious Blood for the first time; we get to see the joy of the couple at the wedding at Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle and truly began His mission of salvation; and we hear stories from the disciples reflecting on different moments in their shared life with Jesus.
When I asked Megan what she hoped the pilgrims would take away from this Good Friday experience, she said,
I want people to see the humanity of these characters [from the Stations] and their relationship to salvation, and to realize that we, too, are characters in Christ’s Passion; we too are living out salvation history.
Feel free to spread the invitation, all are invited, and water will be provided! The pilgrimage will close with the Veneration of the Cross at approximately 8pm upon the arrival of the pilgrims, at the future site for the first Marian shrine in the Austin Diocese (225 Addie Roy Rd, Austin TX 78746).