Tradition of Nine Church walk alive and thriving in New Orleans

SComiskey • Thu, Apr 9 2009 at 7:00am
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New Orleans tradition of the walking the nine churches on Good Friday continues for new generations.

On Good Friday, April 10, groups of Catholics, and some non-Catholics, of all ages and from throughout the metro New Orleans area will gather Uptown and in the French Quarter for the tradition of a walking tour of neighborhood churches and a public Stations of the Cross.  The tradition dates back generations and is a popular Good Friday tradition with families. 


The Good Friday pilgrims will select a starting point as early as 8 am in the morning and visit nine churches, with nine signifying the nine days of a novena.  Throughout their pilgrimage, the groups will recite the Stations of the Cross commemorating Jesus’ passion and death, visit the Eucharist Lord at Altars of Repose, and often, recite the Rosary. 


This year, St. Mary’s Chapel at the Ursuline Convent on Chartres St. in the French Quarter, known popularly as St. Mary’s Italian, will be open for visitation after many years of closed doors. 


The groups making the pilgrimage will range in age from children in strollers with their parents to the elderly.  Some CYO groups, consisting of Catholic teenagers from different church parishes team up to participate as well as different prayer groups from throughout the area.  In one instance with the congregation at the Center of Jesus the Lord, the group will be led by individuals dressed as Jesus Christ, his mother Mary, and others who will put on a sort of Passion Play in their annual Soles for Christ walk.  However the groups participate, the nine church walk is always a time of prayer, sacrifice and reflection on Good Friday leading to the joy of Easter.


The following is a listing of churches participating in the nine church walk:

St. Francis of Assisi – 631 State St.


Good Shepherd at St. Stephen – 1025 Napoleon Ave.


St. Mary\'s Chapel – 1516 Jackson Ave.


St. Alphonsus at St. Mary\'s Assumption – 2030 Constance St.


St. Theresa of Avila – 1404 Erato St.


St. John the Baptist – 1139 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.


St. Patrick – 724 Camp St.


Immaculate Conception (Jesuit Church) – 130 Baronne St.


Our Lady of Guadalupe (St. Jude Shrine) – 411 N. Rampart St.


St. Mary\'s Chapel – 1100 Chartres St.


St. Louis Cathedral – Jackson Square


Additionally, Mater Dolorosa on S. Carrollton Ave. (S. Carrollton and Oak) and Blessed Sacrament-St. Joan of Arc on 8321 Burthe St. (Burthe and Cambronne) will be open for visitation among other churches throughout the area.


Note:  Soles for Christ begins promptly at 8 am at the Center of Jesus the Lord on the corner of Esplanade Ave. and N. Rampart.