Oblates In the World



Oblates In the World

Extreme Way of the Cross 2024

Extreme Way of the Cross 2024

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Oblate parishes organized yet another, 7th edition of the Extreme Way of the Cross. This was a 42km overnight pilgrimage from St. Casimir’s Parish in Toronto to St. Eugene's Parish in Brampton. A lot of parishioners took part in this opportunity to step into suffering and discomfort in order to become closer to Jesus, walking this journey while meditating on the Stations of the Cross every few kilometres. The event began with an evening mass at St. Casimir’s Parish and concluded with morning mass at St. Eugene's. 
Below you can hear more about this beautiful Lenten experience from the perspective of Monika, a young parishioner that walked the Extreme Way of the Cross for the first time.

“Never give up, never surrender. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

I heard God speaking to me on this pilgrimage; first to wait for my friends as I often passed by their walking speed, second to pray the rosary and last to focus on the Holy Family as my snow soaked boots were making my socks wet.

Leaving St. Casimir’s Parish we had over 115 official registrants, as we continued our journey it was clear less of us were going to make it.

The weather was an idyllic Christmas scene, snow covered trees and light wind giving the snow an extra glimmer under the light.

That was only kilometre one.

By the time we got to Tim Hortons at Sherway Gardens at Midnight the look of dread took over the faces of the participants.

But alas, I kept going!

Finally arriving at St. Maximilian Kolbe; walking on the streets to avoid the unplowed sidewalks.

It seemed that the night was almost over but I knew the last stretch to St. Eugene's would be the most testing.

Uphill over two highways, too much traffic to walk on the road but no sidewalk and only a patch of snow covered grass to walk on as I grasped the metal bull bars for balance.

Already gone through 3 pairs of socks, going back to my original wool socks that dried out for the last 5km.

My 3 friends trailing behind me.

We make a few adjustments to the route to get to St. Eugene’s in time for mass.

Finally arriving at the steps of St. Eugene after 10 hours and 40km of walking felt like a miracle !

Taking a nap before mass felt like a dream until it was over!

What a beautiful experience to go through the whole night without much more than a donut and a coffee.

We are capable of so much more than we imagine when we do it for God and completely surrender to Him.

The devil was sure to deter me with the snow, the wet socks, the wind and cold frigid air at 5am but I prayed the rosary and made it to my destination.

Only half of the original participants made it to St. Eugene's.

Thank you to the Oblates for hosting this extreme stations of the cross.

I am sure to do it next year!”

(Monika Frejlich/Patrycja Machnio/DJ/ photos Monika Frejlich; EDK Toronto - Extreme Way of the Cross)