Bankstown youth lead Passion

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Jesus (Anthony Eltarraf) meets his mother Mary (Aurora Doueihy) at the Fourth Station. Photo: Mathew De Sousa
Jesus (Anthony Eltarraf) meets his mother Mary (Aurora Doueihy) at the Fourth Station. Photo: Mathew De Sousa

The youth at St Felix de Valois, Bankstown, set a sombre scene for their 2019 re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross with a dramatic depiction of the scourging of Christ.

Hundreds of emotional parishioners watched on Good Friday with sorrow as Jesus, played by youth member Anthony Eltarraf, was dragged from his prison, whipped and made to carry his cross through the crowds while being mocked by his captors.

Prior to the youth making their way down to the first station, St Felix’s resident Deacon Ronnie Maree drew their minds to the significance of their participation in the Good Friday Re-enactment.

“Offer your talents, energy and efforts for God, for Him to use them to help the people of the parish encounter the crucified Jesus,” said Deacon Ronnie.

“The Stations of the Cross is a prayer, and in all prayer we seek to encounter Jesus which in this particular instance is Jesus crucified for us.”

This deeply emotional dramatisation took route around the grounds of the adjacent school, culminating at St Felix’s grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Reflecting on his humbling experience, Anthony Eltarraf said playing Jesus did not only mean playing the role in the re-enactment, but it also calls him to be Jesus in his own life.

The youth of St Felix Bankstown who take part in the Passion play grows in numbers each year. Photo: Mathew De Sousa
The youth of St Felix Bankstown who take part in the Passion play grows in numbers each year. Photo: Mathew De Sousa

“That is the hardest but most beautiful and fulfilling part of it all. It really puts into perspective what Christ did for us, and gives me just a taste of the suffering He went through for us,” said Mr Eltarraf.

“We take the Stations of the Cross re-enactment very seriously as a Youth and for me, it is the greatest opportunity to bring people to the Love of Christ.

“To lead others along the Way of the Cross is to lead them to true Love. It is because of this that we find it so crucial to remind everyone, including ourselves how much God loves us.”

As the final moments of Jesus’ life were played out and parishioners, overwhelmed with emotion, reached out to a lifeless Jesus, it was truly evident that the youth accomplished their mission by drawing people’s hearts to the love of Christ.

From 2009, the Stations of the Cross has been coordinated and carried out by the youth and young adults of St Felix de Valois, Bankstown.

The enthusiasm and faith of the youth has taken the Passion play to new heights, growing in number of cast, crew and passionate volunteers.