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Who read The Passion Sunday at your parish? This guy did it by himself—from memory

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/10/17


The reactions come immediately, powerfully. There’s the time a small boy reacted to Bill Fike’s angry outburst as part of proclaiming the Passion story—a moment when Fike vividly conveys the venom of the crowd toward Jesus as he stands before Pilate. “Someone told me they heard the little boy tell his mother, ‘He’s so mean!’ ” Fike says, smiling at the memory. A short time later, Fike’s smile takes on a different measure of delight when he shares how his role in bringing the Passion story to life affected a college student who had given up on his faith. “Something hit him, and he came back to church,” Fike says. “That makes it worthwhile.” Fike can also tell you the story of how his role led him—a longtime bachelor—to find the love of his love and get married. Yet, mostly, the 62-year-old member of St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis wants to talk about the most moving love story he has ever known—the time of Holy Thursday and Good Friday when Jesus Christ let himself be betrayed, tortured and crucified to redeem mankind. “As Christians, there’s a tendency to live our Christian faith with Christ’s sacrifice just being a given. It’s almost theoretical,” he says. “But the story is just as real today as it was when it happened. “Every year when we observe the Passion, it’s a way to see the sacrifice that Christ made for us in a new light.” And that’s exactly what Fike will do again on the weekend of Palm Sunday at St. Christopher Church. Indeed, this will be his 33rd year of adding dramatic and emotional life to the events that led to Christ’s death. “It’s moving, it’s mesmerizing, and it gets people ready for Holy Week,” says Father Paul Shikany, pastor of St. Christopher Parish. “You can hear a pin drop when he does it.”

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