Albany: Clowning around with Stations of the Cross

Why can’t Stations of the Cross just be Stations of the Cross?

A reader alerted me to this event posted (at the time of this writing) on the website of The Evangelist, the official publication of the Diocese of Albany.

Here is a screenshot, since that page will eventually scroll off.  I added the red arrow.


On the website of the Shrine Church of Our Lady of the Americas we read with my emphases:


  • Stations of the Cross Schedule: Beginning Friday, March 11th: (18, 25, April 1st, 8, 15)
    • English-Speaking Community: Soup and salad and Scripture reflection begins at 5:30 pm. Stations of the Cross in English at 7 pm.
    • Spanish-Speaking Community: Stations of the Cross in Spanish at 6pm. Soup and salad and Scripture reflection begin at 7pm.
    • On March 18th during the English-Speaking Station of the Cross at 7pm, Father O’Connor and the Clown Ministry will lead the Stations.

Okay… to be fair, this doesn’t say that the people leading this will be doing so in clown costumes.  Is it safe to assume that the people involved in Clown Ministry have volunteered to serve at Friday Stations in, say, cassock and surplice?  It’s possible.  You know… Archconfraternity of St. Stephen takes a turn… Knights of Columbus take a turn… Boy Scouts take a turn… Clown Company takes a turn… Holy Name Society takes a turn….

But my suspicion is that there may in fact be clown make-up and costumes involved in this case.  Just a guess.

I don’t think that’s a good idea.

I also don’t think it’s a good idea to open the combox.



When you are completely steamed about blasphemous portrayals of the Our Lord’s act of our salvation through unjust condemnation, brutal torture, and agonizing death,  I urge you immediately – instead of commenting in the combox here – to order some Mystic Monk Coffee!

They don’t yet have a “Reparation for Blasphemy Blend”, but I assure you that, if they did, it would be their darkest roast.

Mystic Monks!

They don’t clown around.

UPDATE: 18 March 01:33 GMT:

From a reader:

A little be of Googling and I found this from the Albany Evangelist archives. Looks like it’s a tradition: “…performing the Way of the Cross since 1987.” There is not enough Mystic Monk in the world to get me into a church while this is going on.  HERE.

Clowns’ Stations touching audiences
Assistant Editor
A sad-faced clown sits on a white bench, eyes downcast.
“Say hello to Marmeldook,” a narrator’s voice instructs, beginning a presentation unique to the Albany Diocese: The “Way of the Cross in the Company of Clowns.”
The Clown Ministry Associates — a group of 20 Catholics from around the Diocese — have been performing the Way of the Cross since 1987. That was when three professional clowns and a transitional deacon at St. Patrick’s parish in Ravena got together to find a way to use clowning in a “spiritual vein.”


Yah… no… not my sort of thing, really.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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