March 10, 2024

The Easter Trail:
An Easter Experience!

Sister M. Florence Harder
Quarten, Switzerland

A Project with Potential for the Future

Easter—that’s what we Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary experienced in a special way last year. 

And with us, many others: Young and old, those for whom Easter means a lot, others who rediscovered the meaning of this feast day. Many also came across our Easter trail by chance. Preparations are now underway for the Easter Trail in 2024 – a project with potential for the future.

“So nice that the sisters did this!”

We sisters often heard these and similar comments in April 2023. Inspired by our co-sisters in Schoenstatt, Germany we made the decision as a community three months earlier to create an Easter Trail. We sawed Easter bunnies out of old cupboard doors; in addition, over sixty Easter eggs were cut from wood, painted, decorated and lacquered. It was a special joy for us that hidden talents appeared since this is not our daily work. The watercolor drawings by Sister M. Gloria Lopez have left a deep impression on us and many visitors to the Easter Trail. Her first drawings came about almost by chance–and it is hardly believable—on the train from Koblenz, Germany to Zurich, Switzerland! The children who sat in the compartment with her were very enthusiastic about this sister who sat there with her watercolors and created real works of art.

A path from Palm Sunday to Easter

Jesus‘ journey to Easter was through darkness and night, suffering and death. A journey marked by seemingly irreconcilable opposites: by jubilation, honor and recognition but also by betrayal, hate, and condemnation. Around 20 stations illustrate the last days of Jesus and their significance for us today, starting with Palm Sunday, where the children can ride on the homemade donkey, and palm branches are available to take [along home].

For Holy Thursday there are several stations: the Last Supper, the Washing of the Feet – where you can really wash each other’s feet – and the station of Jesus’ Agony in the Garden. On Good Friday, the threefold fall of Jesus is just as much a theme as Simeon’s help in carrying the Cross and the testament of Jesus from the Cross.

What is particularly important to us here is the application to today. Therefore, at each station there are questions for reflection. For example, when Jesus was condemned to death, it says–with Pilate in mind– Which voices do I follow? My conscience or the mainstream media?

 Living the faith

An impressed young father of a family said, “The Easter Trail helps you to absorb the faith not just in your head, but with all your senses. Here you can really relive the days from Palm Sunday to Easter!” And his wife said, “I will tell many young families about it!”

The creative space at the youth center where young and old were invited to draw on paper-wrapped tables what moved them was particularly popular.  The result was an impressive reflection of what touched the hearts of visitors to the Easter Trail.

Much life

Last year, the Easter Trail attracted many people. Some came from quite a distance and stayed one or two nights to really come to grips with the content of the path. “We’ll come again. We want to delve even deeper into the message of this path – and for that you actually have to be alone.”

Others consciously walked the path as a group and discussed the questions and the content at each station for our lives. Others went the way praying so that one didn’t dare to speak to them. You could feel how engaged they were with the content, to get to the essence of Holy Week and Easter for our own lives. One man confirmed that this really was the case, “The inspirations on the Easter Trail help us to understand the significance for today of what happened over 2000 years ago.”

And that was our intention precisely: That the message of Easter reaches even deeper into our lives, answers our questions and longings, and thus shapes our lives. This path has given us something like a new model of how this can be achieved today.


Easter Trail in Quarten, Switzerland 2024:


From: Forum – Zeitschrift der Schönstätter Marienschwestern in der Schweiz

Photos: Sister Renata-Maria Becchio, Quarten, Switzerland