The Stations of the Cross

Before going to a fish fry on Fridays (or at least, on most Fridays), the Louisville Fish Fry Crew goes to St. Louis Bertrand in downtown Louisville to pray the Stations of the Cross.  This Friday tradition, which can also be known as “The Way of the Cross” or “Via Dolorosa,” is a journey of Christ’s journey on the day of His passion, from his condemnation of death to his burial in the tomb.

The Stations of the Cross, which is primarily based in the Scripture, was implemented as a way for faithful Christians who could not make the journey to Jerusalem for pilgrimage along the actual Way of the Cross to pray and meditate on the Passion.  Catholic churches would set up 14 images, or “stations,” within the church to allow for the devoted to pray and reflect on the final day of Christ’s life on Earth.  (NOTE:  The Stations have also been set in outdoor settings as well.  A great example is at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, commonly called Holy Hill, where the Stations are prayed, appropriately, by walking up a large hill.)  Catholic Churches will now offer the Stations of the Cross during Lent, typically on Fridays.

There are numerous versions of reflections that Catholics may pray and read while praying the Stations.  At St. Louis Bertrand, the Dominicans use the Way of the Cross written by St. Alphonsus Liguori.  The format of each Station go as follows:

  1. Sing a verse of Stabat Mater (At the Cross her station keeping…)
  2. Priest and congregation says an English version of the Adoremus Te, genuflecting (Priest says “We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.”  Congregation responds “Because by your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.”)
  3. Priest reads meditation, all are standing.
  4. All kneel and read a response to the meditation together.
  5. Station finishes with an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.
  6. Walk to next Station while singing next verse of Stabat Mater.

This tradition is a strong recommendation for not just Catholics, but all Christians because of the Scriptural basis for the Stations themselves, reminding us of why Jesus died on the Cross.

Below is a gallery of the 14 Stations (photos from St. Louis Bertrand):


1st Station:  Jesus is condemned to death.


2nd Station:  Jesus takes up the Cross.


3rd Station:  Jesus falls the first time.


4th Station:  Jesus meets His mother.


5th Station:  Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross.


6th Station:  Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.


7th Station:  Jesus falls the second time.


8th Station:  Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.


9th Station:  Jesus falls the third time.


10th Station:  Jesus is stripped of His garments.


11th Station:  Jesus is nailed to the Cross.


12th Station:  Jesus dies on the Cross.


13th Station:  Jesus is taken down from the Cross.


14th Station:  Jesus is laid in the sepulchre.

The Stations of the Cross

Lenten Reflection, February 20

In times of aridity when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, I seek little opportunities, mere trifles, to give pleasure to Jesus; for instance a smile, a pleasant word when inclined to be silent and to show weariness. If I find no opportunities, I at least tell Him again and again that I love Him; that is not difficult and it keeps alive the fire in my heart. Even though this fire of love might seem extinct I would still throw little straws upon the embers and I am certain it would rekindle.  -St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Lenten Reflection, February 20

Lenten Reflection, February 19

Consider attentively the tombs of the dead and seek there some small trace of their former magnificence and wealth and the pleasures they enjoyed. Tell me, where now are their ornaments and beautiful vestures? Where are their recreations and sports? Where are their companions and the multitude of their servants? The feasts and banquets, the laughter and games, the worldly joys and pleasures, all are ended now. Approach more closely to the tomb and you will see there nothing but a handful of dust and ashes, worms and rotted bones. Such is the end of the human body which has given itself to pleasure and wealth.  -St. John Chrysostom

Lenten Reflection, February 19

Up Next: Cardinal Ritter Knights of Columbus


Our next stop on the fish fry tour takes us across the Ohio River to the Cardinal Ritter Knights of Columbus Council in New Albany.  Founded in 1907, this council is one of the oldest Knights councils in the Louisville Metro area.  This is a mere 25 years after Father Michael McGivney founded the Knights as a way to provide insurance and safety for families who lost their main breadwinner.

For many people, even some Catholics, they don’t know all that the Knights do.  The Knights of Columbus provide a list of activities and charities that the Knights participate in, including Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics, along with programs run by the Knights themselves, such as Coats for Kids and Food For Families (NOTE:  Grayson County, where we went for fish fry earlier this year, raised money from a chili dinner that would then help purchase coats for 90 children.)  The Knights are also prominent in the pro-life community and can often be seen praying at abortion clinics or walking in the March For Life.

The Knights are perhaps best known for their highly rated life insurance plans.  The Knights offer a variety of products and services, all to meet the needs of the members.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the Knights, though, is that the group is only for old men.  However, while this is true for some councils, the minimum age to join is 18, and many college campuses and even parish councils are now adding young adults.  There is also a separate program for younger Catholic boys that is appropriately called the Columbian Squires.  The Squires work to develop boys into strong community leaders through service, social activities, and Catholic teaching.

For more information on the council that the Fish Fry Crew will be attending, you can go to their website:  They have a list of all of their activities and events, as well as provide Catholic resources.  I particularly recommend browsing some of their old photo galleries which includes a visit from their namesake, Cardinal Joseph E. Ritter, in 1961.



Up Next: Cardinal Ritter Knights of Columbus

Lenten Reflection, February 16

“[Human nature’s] natural inclination to virtue is diminished by sin because human acts produce an inclination to like acts. Now from the very fact that a thing becomes inclined to one of two contraries, its inclination to the other contrary must needs be diminished. Wherefore as sin is opposed to virtue, from the very fact that a man sins, there results a diminution of the good of [human] nature, which is the inclination to virtue.”  -St. Thomas Aquinas

Lenten Reflection, February 16

Remaining Fish Fry Schedule

I’ve had a lot of readers ask me about the remaining Fish Fry Crew schedule for the rest of Lent.  Here’s the full schedule below:

Date Location Address Time
February 12, 2016 St. Joseph 1406 E. Washington St., Louisville, Ky. 40206 6:15
February 19, 2016 Cardinal Ritter K of C 809 E. Main St., New Albany, In. 47150 6:15
February 26, 2016 St. James 1826 Edenside Ave., Louisville, Ky. 40204 5:30
March 4, 2016 St. Stephen Martyr 2931 Pindell Ave., Louisville, Ky. 40217 6:15
March 11, 2016 St. Athanasius 5915 Outer Loop, Louisville, Ky., 40219 6:15
March 18, 2016 St. Albert the Great 1395 Girard Dr., Louisville, Ky., 40222 6:15
March 25, 2016 Guardian Angels 6000 Preston Hwy., Louisville, Ky. 40219 6:15

For all of the weeks listed except for the St. James and Guardian Angels fish fry, dinner will be preceded with Stations of the Cross at St. Louis Bertrand (1104 S 6th Street  Louisville, KY) at 5:00.

Remaining Fish Fry Schedule

Lenten Reflections, February 15

Christ said, “I was hungry and you gave me food.” He was hungry not only for bread but for the understanding love of being loved, of being known, of being someone to someone. He was naked not only of clothing but of human dignity and of respect, through the injustice that is done to the poor, who are looked down upon simply because they are poor. He was dispossessed not only of a house made of bricks but because of the dispossession of those who are locked up, of those who are unwanted and unloved, of those who walk through the world with no one to care for them…Do we go out to meet those? Do we know them? Do we try to find them?” -Bl. Mother Teresa

Lenten Reflections, February 15

February 12: St. Joseph’s Fish Fry

We have finally reached Fridays in Lent, and for the first Friday in Lent, the fish fry crew went to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville.


This was actually my second trip in the day to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, as they host not only a fish fry dinner, but also a fish fry lunch, one of the few in the downtown Louisville area.  Because of this, Lenten Fridays are crucial for St. Joe’s in obtaining their goal for repairing the roof.

The menu at the fry has had the most variety of the 3 fish fries I’ve attended so far this year:


As you can see, the traditional fare for a fish fry is on the menu:  baked and fried fish, French fries, cole slaw.  Two items to make particular note of on the menu, though, may be unfamiliar to some readers of this blog, as they are traditional to Louisville.  First are the rolled oysters, which is a hidden food gem in Louisville.  Invented in downtown Louisville by Phillip Mazzoni, rolled oysters calls for oysters, rolled into the size of a baseball and then deep-fried in a cornbread batter.  The original cafe where this native Louisville treat was invented is now gone, but the food still lives in both the bar scene and the fish fry scene in Louisville.  Personally, this sounds like a great recipe to try.

The second food on the list that may draw your attention is the stewed tomatoes.  The recipe used for the stewed tomatoes at this fry included bread within the tomatoes.  This style was made popular in the Louisville area by the famous Cunningham’s restaurant.  Unfortunately, the downtown Cunningham’s closed early in 2015, but there remains a location in nearby Prospect (More Info On Cunningham’s).

While these foods looked appetizing, I kept it simple and instead stuck with the classic fried fish sandwich and baked potato, along with a delicious frosted white cake and Bud Light:


As mentioned before, this was my second meal of the day.  I did not take pictures of my lunch, taken to-go, but it included the fish sandwich, creamy cole slaw, and macaroni cheese, all very delicious.

The night was capped with a concert at the church by the Louisville Civic Orchestra.  The name of the concert?  Le Poisson et L’Amour.  Translated from French, it means….

“Fish and Love.”

How appropriate.

I didn’t take photos of the concert and the church, but a follower of this blog sent the photos below, which do a great job showcasing the beauty of the church.  The Roamin’ Catholic also recently posted a photograph of the high altar with its wonderful golden splendor.




February 12: St. Joseph’s Fish Fry