Faithful flock to Shrine of Christ's Passion in Indiana for Stations of the Cross

Carrie Napoleon, Post-Tribune on

Published in Religious News

ST. JOHN, Ind. — Frank Schilling stood at the highest point at the Shrine of Christ’s Passion in St. John on Good Friday overlooking the prayer trail where the Stations of the Cross were being led by the Most Rev. Bishop Robert J. McClory.

Schilling was trying to count the sea of people who packed the winding prayer trail almost from the first station near U.S. 41 to the last just below the parking lot to St. John the Evangelist Church during the event. That doesn’t count the visitors who already had come and gone or who showed up for self-guided tours throughout the day. Visitors started showing up at 6:30 a.m. Friday, he said.

“Every year it gets bigger. It’s spreading like wildfire,” Schilling said as he gazed over the crowd.

More than 2,000 faithful of all ages and walks of life came to pay their devotion on Good Friday, the day for believers when Christ sacrificed himself to save them from their sins.

Some people arrived early to pray to the Virgin Mary in the parking lot of the church or to lay flowers and gifts at the feet of the statute of Christ on Calvary. Families pushed baby strollers. Others attend with walkers and wheelchairs.

“All I can say is we as a family have been very blessed,” Schilling said. What has become the Shrine was started by his grandfather in 1956 with the Great Lady on U.S. 41.


“It just kind of all came together. It just seemed appropriate. No doubt it would not have been done without the Holy Spirit,” Schilling said.

“It’s said we are all put on this earth to do good — every single human. I’m just very blessed to be able to take it to the level it will be shared with hundreds of thousands of people,” Schilling said.

He says people are drawn to the Shrine because it is a physical destination that engages all of the senses.

“What I really find heartwarming is all the parents bringing their children here,” Schilling said.


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