The Way of the Cross, Immaculata Auditorium, Morrison School play, 1951. Christ: Oona Landry; John: Germaine MacDonald (Silver); Mary Magdalene: Sharon Chisholm; Mary: Karen Crawford; Narrator (in black): Anne Marie Chisholm. Courtesy of Oona Landry. Restoration: Anne Louise MacDonald
Dorothy Lander in conversation with Oona Landry, June 19, 2014
The Way of the Cross was performed in Immaculata Auditorium in a tableau format representing the Stations of the Cross, with Anne Marie Chisholm providing the narration at each station.
60 years on, Oona speculates that she was cast as Christ because of her long hair. She also remembers the big production of putting on her beard. In order to avoid doing this twice – for the matinee and the evening performance – the nuns kept the children over and served them cocoa and toast for supper. Oona recalls that cocoa and crumbs were all through her beard.
Stories call up other stories. Oona also remembers from her Morrison School days that during Lent, the children did the Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral every Wednesday afternoon. “Everything was in Latin then.” Because Oona took piano lessons, she was called upon to play Stabat Mater while the children were walking between each station.
On one occasion, while she was practicing for this with her back to the altar in the company of Anne Marie Pushie, she looked in the big mirror to see if anyone was there, and seeing no one, she tried something else on the organ – Boogie Woogie. Then Monseignour Gallivan came into view. Anne Marie and Oona took off in a flash, and to their knowledge, were not identified.
Stabat Mater Dolorosa, often referred to as Stabat Mater, is a 13th-century Catholic hymn to Mary, variously attributed to the Franciscan JacoponedaTodi and to Innocent III. It is about the Sorrows of Mary.
The title of the sorrowful hymn is an incipit of the first line, Stabat mater dolorosa (“The sorrowful mother stood”), The Stabat Mater hymn, one of the most powerful and immediate of extant medieval poems, meditates on the suffering of Mary, Jesus Christ’s mother, during his crucifixion. It is sung at the liturgy on the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Stabat Mater has been set to music by many composers.
Click here to hear the 3rd Movement sung in Latin by the Trinity Singers: