2022 – Convent Crucifixion

…………………………………………….(Ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on April 15, 2022)



Happy Good Friday!

Did any of you Christians – fallen or otherwise – have to observe the Day in any special or unusual way? All I remember was that my mother didn’t let us do ANYTHING between 12 noon and 3pm – no TV, no radio, no food(?)………….I don’t think we were allowed to actively play, either. Unfortunately, “quiet contemplation” was not in any kid’s vocabulary.

Although what’s described below occurred on the Sunday before Good Friday, its content was about what supposedly occurred on that day – what we were supposed to contemplate………..quietly.

As a result, I’m launching this post on Good Friday. Now you’ll have something to do between Noon and 3pm (read V-E-R-Y slowly).


This occurred about a block from my home. I had been out shooting a construction site for my work on hackensacknow.org – the site of the Hackensack City historian – that I moderate. He also is the director of redevelopment for the 346 projects going up in and around the downtown, so my purpose is two-fold.

On the way back home, I heard loud, live music and followed it to the Holy Trinity Convent – a place not EVER known for music. I also saw a couple of these along the way:


I recognized them. The Second Reformed Church – next door to me – has one every year in front of the church. Its cloth becomes white on Easter Sunday. Oh wait………..that means that today is Palm Sunday! (I’m a little behind in my religious fervor).

As for Holy Trinity, I was baptized in the church, attended the school for 8 years and – like everyone else (including my siblings) – was more or less tortured by the nuns who lived in the convent.

The school is now a non-religious County charter school and the nuns no longer occupy the convent (it’s now an Archdiocese of Newark Mercy House).


I wasn’t sure what was going on and the singing was in Spanish. At a certain point, people in costume started coming out of the convent, the music stopped and everyone headed in the direction of the church………….except me. I headed home. Whatever it was, it was short and sweet (click to enlarge):


Or so I thought………..


Later on, I could hear music again, so I looked online for the church’s calendar of events and found an ad for something happening on April 10………….today:

It mentioned “calles de Hackensack” and showed a man dragging a huge cross. I knew enough Spanish to know that it said, “streets of Hackensack”. I realized that this was Via Dolorosa – the processional route that represents the path Jesus would have taken to his crucifixion. It also showed a very local map that I was quite familiar with because it was almost the exact same route that an Ecuadorian part of the parish takes every January 1 at around noon on their “Our Lady of the Cloud” procession that goes right by my apartment building. Hung over or not, I’m usually out there shooting it.


OMG! That loud music I just heard 20 minutes prior must have been the Jesus and cross procession going by my building! (I’m on top of the building away from the street, so there was no way to see it…………and besides, shouldn’t that occur on Good Friday, so Jesus can rise from the dead on Easter Sunday?).

I grabbed my coat and camera, went downstairs and outside. No one there………..but I DID hear more music coming from the convent area.

I got there just in time to see Jesus getting “nailed” to the cross. Already crucified and upright were the two thieves who would be on either side of him. All 3 were right in front of the convent door – a VERY strange sight to see:


At a couple of points during the event, centurions and others in the crowd kneeled down. The photographer, however, stood tall to take advantage of having fewer heads in his way – while the band played on:


There are a number of captions that would fit this pic, but I’ll refrain (hey – I have to live here):


This photo pushes me WAY past the limit of my restraint…………I’ll bet you didn’t know that Geraldo Rivera interviewed Jesus on the cross!


Something else I noticed……………did you know that Jesus had INK?


Initially, I thought the tat might have something to do with Aerosmith, but a couple of online images suggest otherwise:


You may have noticed all the blood on Jesus’ feet. I happened to be passing by the convent the next day and took a look to see whether any occupied crosses might still be laying around (or standing), but the place was spotless…………..almost.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am fortunate enough to have preserved for all time the EXACT spot where Jesus died for your sins (and maybe a couple of mine) – right in front of the Holy Trinity Convent on the sidewalk that leads to the front entrance in – of all places – Hackensack, NJ! I’m sure the City Historian will also be thrilled (guess where HE went to school for 8 years):

(Note: it rained the next day and washed away every trace of the blood, so this pic is IT!)


Lastly (and quite unobviously), I should mention that the street that nuns lived on for decades is called Pangborn Place. I should also mention that you should NOT – under ANY circumstances – look up “Pangborn” in your Urban Dictionary.


‘Nuff said!


Instead, here’s a video of little tidbits I shot during both visits:






And if you’re in the area tomorrow, visit my next-door neighbor – the Second Reformed Church – for lots of fun:

Unfortunately, I have to wash my hair or something on Saturday, so you’re on your own.



Happy Easter!



Ooops! Almost forgot: My favorite Good Friday/Easter Family Story (yes, I actually have one, though it’s not particularly happy) happened 25 years ago this week.


In late 1996, my mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I was her executor and caregiver. On a couple of occasions, I would have to get her admitted to Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck when problems popped up.


One such instance occurred on Good Friday, 1997. Did I mention that nuns ran the place? I told one of them that I wanted my mother resurrected by Sunday.


Of course, the nun was not amused.





  1. Annemarie April 15, 2022

    Wow! I’m amazed they did this “on the cross” thing! And Jesus with tats?
    We also had to be quietly contemplative on Good Friday, at least until we were teens. By then, I think our mother was working full time and we were on our own. Our school also had us go through Stations of the Cross during Holy Week.
    I did find some hot cross buns today from a local bakery!

  2. Mary April 30, 2022

    Not sure how I ended up here… Are you related to Ed Leafe? I think his sister’s name is Lorraine?

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