Nevada Test Site

Holy Week

By Joan Monastero Each year, I spend Holy Week at the Nevada Test Site. The groups I have come to cherish there are Nevada Desert Experience, The Catholic Worker, and Pace e Bene—all part of the movement to stop underground nuclear testing at the site. These groups provide a faith-based witness of peace and nonviolence amidst a very destructive situation.

This year, I was invited to help prepare the liturgy for Good Friday at the Nevada Test Site. We created fourteen Stations of the Cross for the occasion, using enlarged photos of contemporary situations of suffering such as war, poverty, homelessness, and the death penalty. During this procession of about 50 people, I offered the bell of mindfulness. At each station, the bell was invited at the beginning and end of the reflection. When we reached the entrance of the test site at the end of the walk, we formed a circle and read the Fourteen Precepts of the Order of Interbeing.

The Fourteen Stations of the Cross and the Fourteen Precepts had a unique collaboration on that most solemn of days in the Christian tradition. The Stations of the Cross are reflections on the suffering of Christ and the suffering in our world. The precepts offer us balance—a way to address suffering. Like a prayer, the precepts bring hope, much like the promise of spring and Easter resurrection, elevating and renewing our lives.

Joan Monastero, Complete Cultivation of the Heart, lives in Saugerties, New York, and practices with the Budding Flower Sangha.

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