Yesterday, in observation of Holy Week and Good Friday, we joined thousands in hiking Mount Cristo Rey. The hike up the 4,675-foot mountain ends with a prayer at the 29-foot limestone statue of Jesus, with pilgrims stopping along the way at the 14 stations of the cross for reflection and prayer. Many hiked barefoot, some carrying large wooden crosses.
Along the way we learned how this day has changed - before 9/11, 20 to 30,000 Catholic Mexicans crossed the border for the pilgrimage. The day was both somber and lively - with stands for popsicles and shaved ice, drinks, holy souvenirs, and more set up at the top of the mountain. Now, ICE and border control keep watch; during our hike we learned of at least two individuals who were escorted off the mountain, accused of crossing the border illegally.