Geneva Parish to Host Cross and Light for Lent
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
February 28, 2019
GENEVA—While there are many options in the diocese for Lent retreats and thought-provoking presentations, St. Peter Parish here is offering a new one this year.
The nationally acclaimed musical and multi-sensory experience, Cross and Light, is an adaptation of Christ’s passion, death, resurrection and gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost coming to Geneva March 15-17.
“Cross and Light is a very Catholic and powerful presentation,” said Father Jonathan Bakkelund, pastor, St. Peter Parish. “I believe this production will be a wonderful spiritual gift this Lent.”
Cross and Light
St. Peter Parish
1891 Kaneville Road, Geneva
March 15 -- 7 p.m. 
March 16-17 -- 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. 
Cost: $25 open seating; $50 reserved seating; $100 reserved parking and seating, meeting with cast after the show for 7 p.m. performances March 15 and 16 only
Info:;  parish office, 630/232-0124
Father Bakkelund adds, “I have just learned it will become a movie and then go to Broadway. It’s been fun to tell our parishioners ‘First stop Geneva, next stop Broadway.’  Very exciting!”
Kelly Nieto, creator, executive producer, co-songwriter and lyricist of Cross and Light experienced a life-changing vision while entering the Catholic Church in 2000. She was inspired to write and produce the critically acclaimed musical. 
“It’s about a deep human connection with Jesus,” she says. 
“When’s the last time you left church laughing and crying saying, ‘I just wanna hug Jesus’? That’s what we see in every city around the country,” Nieto adds. “People walk in the church one way and come out another. Most are in tears sharing a renewed sense of hope because they finally understand how much Jesus loves them and loves to forgive them. 
“It’s a miracle to witness,” she says. “There’s no doubt in my mind that is why God put this vision on my heart 19 years ago ... because the people need this now more than ever.”
“This production will be nothing like you have seen before,” said Melinda Bernhard, adult formation coordinator at St. Peter Parish.  “I had seen Cross and Light last year at a parish in Indiana. It is a story of Christ’s love for us and was so powerful that many people were moved to confession following the performance. We will have priests at St. Peter’s to hear confessions, too.”
Nieto adds, “Cross and Light is an experience that changes hearts and lives because it immerses you, connects you, and emotionally engages you in Christ’s love and mercy.  It’s not about rules or regulations.”
“My hope is that people would be moved and experience deeply what Our Lord has done for us and how passionately He desires a real relationship, a real friendship with each of us,” says Father Bakkelund. “There will be several priests at every performance to hear confessions if attendees feel so moved. My real hope is that we are able to dispense God’s mercy and love to those who seek it.”