CLEVELAND — Holy Week is in full swing at Sagrada Familia parish on Cleveland's near west side.
For six years, Father Rob Reidy's parishioners have been adding a part of their Latin American culture to Good Friday.
"It's basically what sacrifice is. You give your time and your effort and give it up to the Lord," Father Reidy tells us.
Each person or group has creative control over their alfombra, finding inspiration in their hearts. Local school kids turn the sawdust into a rainbow of colors and the Holy Week artists do the rest.
All the carpets are stunning. Some like Miriam Hernandez's "Byzantine Jesus" have a specific meaning. She says, "Well, I did it in honor of all the Christian Arabs who are being persecuted." Millie Ortiz, who helps organize the alfombra making, offers a more traditional meaning. "It was a simple one but it means a lot. It's the heart which means love and the cross which means the sacrifice of the Lord."
The 20-plus works of art didn't last long. Cleveland Catholic Diocese Bishop Nelson Perez joined Father Reidy in leading the Good Friday procession over the sawdust mats. The congregation followed their religious leaders across the mats, leaving them in ruins. The procession then took to the streets of Cleveland, moving to two other locations on the west side.