Way of the Cross at Orleans Parish Prison

On Good Friday, Archbishop Gregory Aymond celebrated the solemn liturgy commemorating the death of Jesus at St. Louis Cathedral at 3 p.m. He then drove to Orleans Parish Prison to celebrate the Stations of the Cross with inmates for the first time since becoming archbishop in 2009.

Fourteen inmates were chosen to hold images of the cross, and the archbishop led the men in the Way of the Cross.

At the end of the prayer service, Archbishop Aymond asked the inmates if they would
 like to offer a prayer, and several prayed spontaneously for their families, their fatherless children and the victims of the terrorist attacks in Brussels.

As he did yesterday when he washed the feet of teenagers at the Rivarde Juvenile Detention Center in Harvey, Archbishop Aymond told the men that nothing they had done is beyond God's forgiveness.

"It is my prayer: Imagine yourself kneeling at the foot of the cross. There is Jesus, tired, bleeding, ready to die, and you're there. And you have on you a cross, whatever it is. You know what it is. I don't have to tell you what it is. You know – whatever your cross is. Sometimes our crosses are people. Sometimes they are circumstances. Certainly, some of what you are going through now is a cross.You're holding your cross and you look up and Jesus' eyes meet yours. You look at one another, and Jesus says to you, 'Do not be afraid. You are not alone. Let go of the past and come with me to new life. That is what the Lord Jesus will say to you."

Archbishop Aymond said Good Friday "is God's way of telling you that you are loved. There's nothing that we can ever do or ever say that will change God's love for us. His love is constant. ... Pope Francis says God never grows tired of forgiving us. ... Each and every one of us comes with sin, with wrongdoing. I'm a sinner. And we come before the Lord and we give over to him our sin and our weakness. On this Good Friday, God reminds us that's why I gave you my son, so you could be reconciled. Now I am asking you only to open your heart and experience the tenderness and mercy that Jesus wants to bring to you."