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Saturday’s Photo: “Good Friday Procession”

by Borderstan.com — April 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm 2 Comments

Good Friday Procession, Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church, Mount Pleasant, Luis Gomez Photos

Today’s photo is from luisgomezphotos in the Borderstan Flickr pool.

From Matty Rhoades

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr, and we rarely run photos in this feature that do not feature the Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods. Today we make an exception for an annual event held by the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church in Mount Pleasant at 16th Street and Park Road NW: the Good Friday procession. Congregants from the church re-enact the events of Jesus’ crucifixion with the procession led by a man portraying Jesus carrying his own cross. Other congregants dress as Roman soldiers and other characters from the day of the crucifixion.

Such processions are not uncommon, of course, and are particularly prevalent in Spanish speaking countries where the Catholic Church predominates. The Church of the Sacred Heart’s congregation is mostly Latino with many members either immigrants or children of immigrants from Central America. Central American immigrants began settling in Mount Pleasant, Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights in large numbers beginning in the 1980s when civil wars raged in El Salvador and Guatemala.

Last night’s procession began at 8:30 pm at the church on what turned out to be a rainy and very chilly night. It went west on Park Road to 17th Street NW… south on 17th to Irving Street… east on Irving to 14th Street… north up 14th in Columbia Heights… and then west on Park Road back to the church. Hundreds of people (probably more) were part of the procession, followed it on the sidewalks and watched along 17th Street in Mount Pleasant.

Borderstan’s co-editor, Luis Gomez, covered the procession last evening. Growing up in Venezuela, he saw many such processions in Valencia and Caracas. In a rapidly changing — yes, gentrifying — city, we both wonder if this festival will still be held in another one or two decades.

Today’s photo, “Good Friday Procession: Jesus with the Cross,” was taken by luisgomezphotos on April 22.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

Comments (2)

  1. St. Augustine’s at 15th and V had Stations of the Cross in the neighborhood yesterday at 1:30 in the afternoon. Then the Gospel choir sang the “Seven Last Words” at 3:00. The congregation there has resisted gentrification, which means that many come into the city from Maryland and Virginia on Sundays and feastdays. The Easter Vigil this evening (Saturday) starts at 8:30, and it wil be packed. (The church has its own school, which was threatened with closure several years ago. The congregations is keeping the school open, but it could use all the help it can get.)

  2. Sacred Heart was a place of refuge for many fleeing the wars of Central America in the 1980’s. They found Capuchin Fransican friars who welcomed them and celebrated Mass, Confession, Baptisms, Confirmations, First Eucharist, Weddings and Quinciñeras in Spanish. Many have been forced out of the neighborhood due to gentrification. But the loyalty to the parish is amazing. Our parishioners still drive into town from Riverdale, Wheaton, Hyattsville and even Laurel, Bowie and Columbia. This is where their families first felt welcomed. Over 500 children are enrolled in our Spanish Catechism Program. I think the Good Friday procession will be with us for a while. And this year, the procession stayed in Mt. Pleasant: west on Park, south on Mt. Pleasant St., east on Irving and north on 16th. Thanks for the great pictures!

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