Speaking in Silence: The Way of the Cross Chicago

Since 1996 the Communion and Liberation Movement (CL) in the United States has organized a public Way of the Cross, the first being held in New York City crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, but now thousands in cities from New York to Los Angeles and many locations in between carry out this public gesture each Lent.


The CL Way of the Cross has taken place worldwide since the first events were organized and lead by Communion and Liberation founder Msgr. Giussani in the Lombard region of Italy during the 1950’s.

Msgr. Giussani included this public activity among what he called gestures of the CL charism. Other gestures present in CL life are group singing as an expression of gladness and unity, charitable work, the Mass, pilgrimages and others.

Since 2005 the Chicago Communion and Liberation Movement has held a Downtown Way of the Cross each Good Friday. The Chicago Way of the Cross is now co-sponsored by Communion and Liberation and the Focolare Movement.

The redemptive love of God in Jesus’s passion and feeling of abandonment on the cross, often referred to as Jesus Forsaken, plays an essential role in Focolare’s spirituality. Joining CL in this Holy Week event would be a natural outreach for the local Focolare community.

This year, the Good Friday Downtown tradition drew a crowd of almost 600 people. The three-hour procession, led by a large wooden cross, began at Daley Plaza crossing to the Tribune Tower Plaza and on to Holy Name Cathedral. There were 4 stops along the way accompanied by silent meditation and singing throughout the route and stops.

Cardinal Blaise Cupich offered encouraging words to this year’s group:

“As you witness to the sacrifices made by Our Lord on Good Friday, know that I accompany you in spirit and in prayer. (…) Your silent journey speaks volumes to our city, so desperately inneed of Christ’s love,hope and peace.”


Working together preparing this year’s event became an opportunity between CL and the FocolareMovement to learn and share about the different gifts of their two charisms.

In all, it was an experience of living unity in diversity and opportunity to witness to the love of God andthe redemptive value of suffering to many.

Enjoy more photos of the event here.