El Via Crucis: The Migrant’s Way of the Cross


Compiled by Fr. Simon C. Kim, PhD


Reviewed by Susana L. Vasquez

The picture shows a freight train. The visible cargo, people Hanging on the back and clinging to the top of the car. Their bright shirts and baseball hats in red, orange, blue and white stand in sharp contrast to the pale grey of the train. The Migrant’s Way of the Cross is a thin volume, but thick with meaning. This bilingual book re-imagines the stations of the cross and Jesus’ crucifixion through the migrants painful journey across the U.S./Mexico border.


The words and photos work together to draw the reader into a narrative we so rarely hear and see. And the prayers remind us of how little most Catholics in the U.S. do on behalf the countless men, women and children who seek to join us in this land of freedom and opportunity.


“Lord, forgive us when we fail to see Christ in the migrants and in those in need before us. Forgive us when we fail to lighten their burdens by walking with them and carrying their crosses. Most of all, forgive us when we lack courage, give in to fear, and allow our complacency and inactivity to add to the weight of the cross in this life. Amen.”


The eleven contributors in all share both personal stories and stories retold, by people of faith and courage working with the migrants along the dangerous journey by train, foot and car. When Jesus falls, a migrant falls. When Mary laments the pain of her son on the cross, a mother laments the loss of her children left behind in Mexico.


At a challenging time when political candidates speak of building walls, The Migrant’s Way of the Cross reminds in words and imagines, how important it is to understand Jesus’ story as a migrant and remember the pain he and others felt as he sacrificed so that others would have life more abundantly.

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