St. Finbar kids show adults the meaning of Good Friday
The children turned into teachers and the adults sat back in their pews and became students for a night at Saint Finbar Catholic Church in Bath Beach as students from the parish’s Religious Education School offered a dramatic presentation of the Stations of the Cross to help parishioners prepare for Good Friday and Easter.
Patrick Biesty, who portrayed Jesus Christ, did his best to convey the agony and suffering Jesus endured. At times, Biesty appeared to be grimacing in pain as he walked up and down the center aisle of the church carrying the cross surrounded by fellow students Junior Cohetero, Alexis Ortiz, Vincent Speranza, and Erick Sotamba, who played Roman soldiers.
The church, located at 138 Bay 20th St., was packed with adults and kids who came to see the re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross. The presentation took place on March 27, a week before Good Friday.
“The children became the teachers tonight, and you adults learned from them,” the Rev. Michael Louis Gelfant, the church’s pastor, told the congregation. Gelfant said he was impressed by the work of the students.
Good Friday, which falls this year on April 3, is the day Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross to free men and women from sin. Easter Sunday (April 5 this year) is celebrated as the day Christ rose from the dead.
Prior to the crucifixion, Jesus was beaten and spat upon by Roman soldiers and then forced to carry his own cross to Calvary, according to the New Testament. There are 14 Stations of the Cross, depicting various scenes of the period immediately before, during, and after the crucifixion of Jesus.
As he carried his cross, Jesus falls three times, meets his mother Mary, is helped by Veronica, who wipes his face, and his assisted in the carrying of the cross by Simon of Cyrene. All of these scenes were portrayed by the St. Finbar students.
Silvio DiPalma played Pontius Pilate, the man who washed his hands of Jesus and condemned him to death. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was played by Ava Perrone. Portraying Mary Magdalene was Kayla Felcon. Kimberly Salamanca was Veronica. Simon of Cyrene was played by Christopher Vitaliano.
The cast also included Regina Ruiz, Maria Chiarello, Camille DiGirolamo and Giavanna Randazzo. Katherine Liotta was responsible for the special effects.
The re-enactment was accompanied by narration by students Emma Perrone and Yoanna Cohetero Meza. The thought-provoking narration sought to make a connection between the suffering of Jesus and the thoughts and actions of today’s young people.
“How often have I judged others by the way they look or what they were wearing? Do I find my own self-worth and self-identity by the clothes I wear or the way I look?” the narrators asked as Biesty and the Roman soldiers portrayed the 10th Station, where Jesus is stripped of his garments.