by Lenn Almadin Thornhill, ABS-CBN News
JERSEY CITY, NJ — A special Stations of the Cross procession was held in Jersey City on Friday. More than 100 people from 15 churches walked the streets and stopped at 14 sites where people were killed or injured by gun violence this past year.
“We wanted to connect what happened 2,000 years ago to what is going on on the streets of Jersey City today, and to get ourselves outside of the church and out into the world,” said Rev. Thomas Murphy of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
None of the injured or killed this past year were Filipinos, but residents here say what’s happening in their community affects everyone who lives there, including the thousands of Filipinos who call Jersey City their home.
Meanwhile, on Easter Sunday, at St. Anne’s church, it was a different kind of gathering, with an easter egg hunt and family celebration after the mass.
“This has always been a big event for us at St. Anne’s,” said Jen Castaneda, President of St. Anne’s Filipino American Association. “We had such a big crowd, and it’s always like that.”
Families from different ethnic groups celebrated together.
“We do welcome everybody within our community,” Castaneda added. “It’s just not a Filipino event, it is for the church, it is for everybody within our community.”
Easter weekend for many Filipino Americans in Jersey City was not just about going to church — it was about doing what they could to make their diverse community a better place to live.