The path of Jesus Christ, from his trial before Pontius Pilate to his burial has been devoutly followed by Christians in Jerusalem since apostolic times. St. Francis of Assisi first introduced the custom of erecting fourteen crosses wherever Christians live around the world so that they too may take part in this remembrance of the sufferings of Jesus without making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The first Catholic Church in Madison, St. Raphael, was built in the 200 block of West Main Street. St. Raphael became the cathedral of the newly formed Diocese of Madison in 1946. In 2005, St. Raphael Cathedral was destroyed by fire. Bishop Morlino has announced his intention to build a new cathedral for the Diocese of Madison on the same site. Until this can be done, we want to preserve this site as a sacred place, used by the Cathedral Parish for the public praying of the Stations of the Cross, available to all for this purpose.
The Way of the Cross site serves as a way to recall the Lord's ascent to Calvary and to pray to the Stations of the Cross focusing on the Lord's journey from the moment that Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate until he was laid in the tomb. The Way of the Cross has been developed to provide as a tangible link to the cathedral and is designed as a sacred space for prayer, devotion, emotional and spiritual growth for parishioners and community members.
The Way of the Cross at Cathedral Square was solemnly blessed by Bishop Robert Morlino on September 14, 2012. Beginning the in spring of 2013, it has been in use for the public praying of the Stations of the Cross weekly – at 9:00 a.m. each Saturday. Our vision is that the growth of the trees and shrubs that have been planted and further embellishment of the site will make it an increasingly beautiful gift of green space to all our neighbors and a cherished place of devotion to Catholics and all believers.
From May through October, join us every Saturday morning at 9:00am to pray the Stations of the Cross.
You are welcome to visit and pray privately at any time.
The entrance to the Way of the Cross at Cathedral Square is located at the corner of W Washington Avenue and S Henry Street. The garden near the entrance recalls the Garden of Gethsemani, where Jesus prayed before his arrest. Following the red path, one encounters fourteen stone crosses in the ground, marked with Roman numerals. These recall fourteen moments in the story of Jesus' suffering and death that have been remembered with devotion for twenty centuries. The garden at the last Station recalls the garden in which the Lord's tomb was located.
The garden is made possible through gifts, donations and volunteers! Your contributions directly help to support, maintain and grow the garden. View the information below to see how you can help!
- Garden Wish List
Click here to view a list of items we could use in the garden!
Are you interested in becoming a volunteer? By volunteering you can enjoy the outdoors, have fun gardening and meet other parishioners! Volunteering is a very rewarding experience that can lead to personal inner growth and is an important part in being able to keep the garden growing and maintained!
Start by downloading our volunteer form!
Once you have filled out your volunteer form please return it to the parish office.