KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – First thunder squall and torrential rains of the season greeted the Good Friday walkers who ventured out to pray and visit seven churches, a popular devotion in Kolkata.
The rain which started at 6.30 am, did not deter some 800 people of Christ the King Church Park Circus who gathered for the annual Good Friday Stations of the Cross through the streets. The down pour did not scare the faithful; most of them did not carry an umbrella. Priests, Religious, Sisters, men and women, boys and girls lined up behind the men carrying a heavy cross escorted by Police. The procession passed unhindered on the flooded streets bereft of people who had scurried for shelter from the rains under shop fronts or trees.
Some of the Good Friday walkers were seen going bare foot. Even in the procession, there were young people who chose to walk bare feet as mark of penance.
The procession passed through Seyid Amir Ali Avenue through the Park Circus Seven Point crossing on to Mother Teresa Sarani (Park Street). It stopped for prayers at the Missionaries of Charity House on Park Street. In spite of the rain scores of MC Sisters came out to pray.
The procession led by the parish priest Fr Orson Wells cut through the market on to C.I.T. Road and past Don Bosco Circle to Don Bosco School Park Circus for 12th Station and returned to the parish, all through intermittent rains which drenched the devotees.
Mr Dominic Azavedo, who has been leading the traditional Good Friday Way of the Cross for over 30 years led the prayers in English language. There were two sets of prayer teams, one in English and the other in Bengali, facilitated by sound systems mounted on two traditional Kolkata hand pulled rickshaws. The procession lasted about 90 minutes.