Make a secure online donation to Mater Dolorosa by scrolling down to our donation form. Download and mail…. more
What is a Retreat? A retreat is a personal encounter with God through a balance of communal prayer, inspirational…. more
Because…You Make A Difference! The Passionist-preached retreat ministry has continued since the first retreat in 1926, which was held…. more
Mater Dolorosa welcomes many groups and organizations who use our facility to host their own program. These groups…. more
“God’s Footprints to Calvary” Stations of the Cross at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center ~ Adapted from Fr. Claudio Piccinini,…. more
First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death
Why did they do such a thing to You? What did You do to deserve such a punishment? But as I look around today, we have similar situations. Minorities are oppressed—denied their freedom and human rights. Men and women are trafficked across international borders and enslaved for personal gains. There are people hungry and those who have too much. The Pilates of today are still condemning Jesus present in each one of us.
Dear Jesus, let me see beyond the injustice and wrongdoings of society. Let not bitterness and anger take over my heart. May I be counted among those committed and courageous enough to uphold the truth.
Second Station: Jesus Carries His Cross
My daily life is filled with problems, confusions and doubts. Sometimes I feel so pressured with people who demand all my energies. It is difficult to accept their demands and I feel like rebelling. I want to claim my rights. Why were You silent when they made You carry Your cross? Why didn’t you fight back? What are You telling me? Where are You leading me? I want to know.
Dear Jesus, give me patience. Let me trust You. I might not always understand what is happening to me and around me. Let me lean on You as we walk along the way. Let me be open to what the love of neighbor may ask of me.
Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time
I should have said no to the temptation. Instead, look at me. It is difficult to admit to being so weak. I have made a fool of myself. I’m so ashamed and depressed. I am hurting. Why am I not able to resist pressure? And what about the others? My actions have hurt them. I am responsible for their pain. How will I ever be able to take their pain away? I need You to lift me up so that I may continue walking.
Dear Jesus, what made you get up and walk again? Why didn’t you give up instead of carrying on? It would have been so much easier. I ask, I question. But I already know the answer. It is because of Your great love for me that you continue, step by painful step.
Fourth Station: Jesus Meets his Sorrowful Mother
What did you say to Your Mother at that moment? Were You able to console her? As I look around me, there are people who are hurting sometimes because of my foolishness, but at other times because of my attempts to follow the truth. I can see the pain on their faces, and I am helpless. These people love me and care for me, and yet, I bring grief into their lives. What can I say to those who experience grief because of me?
Dear Jesus, I need to do more than to simply go through the motions. I have to be more aware of my actions and their consequences. I have to learn that I am not alone and that other people are affected by what I say and do.
Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
I thought I could do it alone. I thought I knew it all, but I found out I did not. I feel so good when I have someone with whom to share my problems, a person who listens and shares my pains with me. You must have felt the same way.
Dear Jesus, I am happy that there are people who care. I didn’t think they would respond, and I thought they would not help. But when I needed them, they were there. Help me to be a friend especially to those in need. Teach me to respond with understanding and compassion. It is in giving myself that I find you.
Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
It is so good to meet a person who is not afraid to love without counting the risks. There have been people in my life who love me in this way. How can I repay such love?
Dear Jesus, You knew how to repay Veronica’s act of love. Your gratitude was so great that You gave her the gift of Yourself. Give me the same sensitivity and the courage of Veronica so that I might always comfort those who suffer, defend the truth and oppose injustice. Renew in me the sense of responsibility to work toward reconciliation and peace, to put love into practice.
Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time
Dear Jesus, You are the only one who can change me. I want to change. I desire it. Please help me to get up and continue walking! Let me be faithful to Your example and Your love. Thank you for showing me how to keep rising every time I fall.
Eighth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
When I am down I want everyone to be down with me. I want them to know what I am going through. I want their attention. It is so easy to forget the needs of others. It is so difficult to reach out when we are hurting. It is so hard for us to make time for others.
Dear Jesus, even though You were suffering, You took time to reach out to the women. Your heart went out to them. You did not blame them for what was happening to you. You did not waste time feeling sorry for Yourself. Help me to make a personal commitment to better myself and work for the betterment of others.
Ninth Station: Jesus Falls a Third Time
Why is this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this? I feel so disappointed and so angry. I have had enough! When will it end? Why is no one reaching out to me? Who will be able to console me? Where is God when I need Him?
Dear Jesus, how many times must I fall before learning that You are carrying my burdens with me? Your pain was much greater than mine, and You did not give up on me. You got up and continued. Please give me the courage to do the same. Imprint in my heart and mind the memory of Your Passion. Help me to develop a life of prayer so that I may offer everything I do in honor of Your Passion.
Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
Do I ever think of You when I deprive others of their dignity, self-respect, self-worth? I am so ready to take advantage of the vulnerability of others and to expose their nakedness for my own pleasure. I do not stop to consider the embarrassment I may cause, just as long as I can have what I want for myself. At times I am not even concerned with the feelings of others. I think of myself as coming first. When I do this I am harming others instead of emptying myself of my own pride, greed, and selfishness.
Dear Jesus, whom would I see if I looked into the mirror? How could I have disfigured Your image so much? Would anyone recognize You in me? Help me to see You in others. Help me to grow in such a way that they can see You in me as well.
Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
This is our meeting place; this is our appointed time. We meet in those who are bound by prejudice and their environment. We meet in the sick, the oppressed and the hungry. We meet in the hate and violence. We meet in the injustices and the inhumane treatment of those who are weak and helpless. We feel bound by the nails of greed, pride, and selfishness.
Dear Jesus, we are all mortally wounded. We are all pierced through by our inability to save ourselves. You are our only hope! Teach us the sacredness of all life. Help us to respect each other knowing that every one of us is precious and beautiful in Your sight.
Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
It is all over….finished. What a way to end! All my hopes, expectations and dreams have come to nothing. I am asked to die and let go of my greed, my pride, my lack of love, patience, and kindness. I am asked to share all that I have with those who have not. I am asked to be present and to serve those who are in need. All the hurts and pains I have received I am asked to forgive and forget. All the hurts and pains I have inflicted on others — I must ask for their forgiveness and mercy. The time has come for me to reach beyond myself, beyond my own feelings, and beyond my own poor vision.
Dear Jesus, what have I done to You? I have crucified You by my sins. Give me the wisdom to understand that when I refuse to recognize You as my God, I crucify You; when I refuse to obey the Holy Spirit prompting me from within, I crucify You; when I refuse to love my brothers and sisters, I crucify You; when I live only for myself without concern for the needs of others, I crucify You; when I seek my own selfish desires instead of seeking You, I crucify You. Give me the Faith to believe that even though I have sinned, You forgive me. Give me the Hope to believe and trust in Your love. Into Your hands I commend my life.
Thirteenth Station: The Body of Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
I have had the courage to crucify You and watch You die. Will I have the courage to hold Your torn Body in the poor, the sick, and the rejected? Will I have the compassion to hold Your Body in those I find difficult to love? Will I have the courage to love myself as You have loved me?
Dear Jesus, I am grieved as I see and feel the wounds I cause. Can You heal them? My blindness and selfishness have caused You so much grief. And now, Lord, I only desire to place all of my burdens at the foot of Your Cross and to continue on as You would have me live at this time. Teach me to value the things that really matter, and to surrender those things that separate me from Your love. Help me, Lord, to know and to do Your holy will each day.
Fourteenth Station: The Body of Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
I have buried You many times by refusing to listen. I have buried You by refusing to love others. I have buried You in the noise I create and in the distractions I seek. I have buried You by running from the truth and living in my own illusions. I have buried You by submerging myself in the material things of this world. I have buried you under the dirt and soil of my own pride, greed, and selfishness.
Dear Jesus, I have silenced Your heart of flesh with the hardness of my heart of stone. I have tried to forget that You ever existed by burying You behind a stone. I have tried to forget Your love by pronouncing You dead! I have placed You out of my sight so I do not have to respond to the love that You have so generously given me. Strengthen me now, Lord, through the memory of this journey of love — these Stations of the Cross that I have just walked with you, fill my own emptiness with new hope. Rekindle in my heart the desire to roll away the stone of sin in my life; to remove each day the walls of pride and indifference; to live fully alive now in the joy and goodness of being Your disciple so that everyone may see that You are alive, Lord, and not dead; that you have risen and call us all to live in the glory of Your goodness and truth.