Opening Prayer: "We adore you, o Christ, as you carry your cross along
the dusty roads of Masaka, Uganda. We make the way of the cross in the homes and
at the bedsides of those with AIDS. We bless you because through this suffering
you have redeemed the world.
1st Station: "Jesus is Condemned to Death." He sits shocked, unable to
speak. His hands tremble. Marko has just been told he has AIDS. ‘I’m going to
die,’ he says.
2nd Station: "Jesus Takes Up His Cross." He is weighed down with the
knowledge that he has AIDS. How will he tell his family? What will happen to his
children? He tells his brother, sells some land, arranges for his children. It’s
hard. It’s a heavy cross Vincent carries.
3rd Station: "Jesus Fall For the First Time." He cannot stand alone. The
abscesses are too painful. Peter is too weak. With help he makes it home and to
bed where he begins the difficult task of regaining strength, so he can pick up
the cross of living with AIDS and continue his journey.
4th Station: "Jesus Meets His Mother." She lies there waiting for her
mother to return. Regina has just learned that she has AIDS and is dying. She
wants to tell her mother. As they meet, a look of pain and love passes between
them. ‘I have slim.’ Her mother takes her in her arms and they weep.
5th Station: "Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross." Richard has so many
decisions to make. How can he go on? When his brothers come, he tells them he is
too scared to go on. They comfort him, arrange to take him home, plan transport
so he can return for treatment.
6th Station: "Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus." She lies there, too weak
to clean herself. Her clothes dirty and soiled because the diarrhea is almost
constant now. She’s alone. Pushed into a corridor so the smell won’t disturb
others. A young nurse comes, washes her and changes her clothes. Rose smiles.
7th Station: "Jesus Falls the Second Time." He has begun to have diarrhea
and no longer wants to eat. Sleep doesn’t come and he’s afraid. The illness is
getting worse. Peter has to stop work. It’s hard to keep living with AIDS.
8th Station: "Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem." Jane has no land. Mary
has no milk for her baby. Scovia’s husband sent her away when he learned she has
AIDS. Juliet was put out of her rented room. Betty works in a bar to support her
children, providing favors for men to get food for them. The plight of poor
women and AIDS. Jesus weeps.
9th Station: "Jesus Falls the Third Time." His head feels as if it’s
bursting. Nothing brings relief. Peter lies in bed unable even to open his eyes.
As the end nears, relatives arrive to move him from his rented room where he
suffered alone for many months. One more step along the way.
10th Station: "Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments." They put her out of
the house and kept her clothes saying they wouldn’t fit her wasted body. They
told her to go to her grandmother’s to die. Once there, she was again rejected
— stripped of all, even her right to belong. Juliet was returned to the
hospital like an unwanted commodity.
11th Station: "Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross." He cannot move. Finds it
hard to breathe. Must wait for someone to care for him totally. An AIDS-related
brain tumor has nailed James to his bed. His mother keeps watch.
12th Station: "Jesus Dies on the Cross." Rose, Peter, John, Alecha,
Kakande, Joseph, William, George, Grace, Paulo, Goretti…Jesus’ body dying of
13th Station: "Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross." The wailing begins.
The car reaches the homestead. As men rush forward to carry Paulo’s shrouded
body, a woman comes from the house. She reaches out to touch the body of her
14th Station: "Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb." A grave is dug on hospital
land — only staff for mourners. Her nine-month-old child cries not
understanding. The grave is filled. All go away. Rose is dead.
15th Station: "The Resurrection." We wait!