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'Praying the steps' canceled for first time in church's history

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Apr 03, 2020

CINCINNATI — For the first time in Holy Cross Immaculata Church's history, "praying the steps," a Good Friday tradition, is canceled.

"This is the first time that we know of that the praying of the steps has been canceled," Fecko said.

For almost 160 years, pilgrims would come to the Mt. Adams church on Good Friday and slowly climb the 96 steps from the St. Gregory Street up to the church, praying or reflecting on their way up. Once at the top, people could confess to a priest or grab donuts, coffee or a fish sandwich to celebrate completing the steps.

"Unfortunately the praying of the steps will be canceled this year because of the coronavirus," Fr. Len Fecko said to WCPO. "The steps are the property of the City of Cincinnati... They are planning to station a police officer on Saint Gregory Street to direct people away from the steps."

However, Fecko and other church staff filmed what they call a "modified Good Friday service" for people at home. The video will be available on Good Friday at hciparish.org.