TRAVERSE CITY — Over the past 15 years, more than 30 men have portrayed an apostle in the Living Last Supper at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
The parishioners will once again bring the Last Supper to life in their annual dramatization of the historic event at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 24.
In the play, the 12 apostles speak their minds to themselves and each other after they hear Jesus proclaim: “One of you will betray Me.” It focuses on just a few moments in time at the Last Supper, when each apostle relives his history with Jesus, reviews his faith and agonizes that he may be the traitor.
The actors are seated at a long table in a re-creation of Leonardo De Vinci’s 15th century painting, “The Last Supper,” which captures the reactions of his apostles the moment after Jesus makes his famous pronouncement.
The participants are from all walks of life rearranging their schedules for rehearsals as well as growing beards for their parts.
Ken Godin of Traverse City has played the apostle Peter since the production began.
“It gives me an opportunity to share my faith in Jesus Christ every year at this time,” he said. “I don’t usually have a beard, so when people ask me why I’m growing one and it’s not hunting season, I tell them about the Last Supper.”
Godin said it not only gives him the opportunity to be an example for the young men in the church, but the part affects his life year round.
“Since I’ve played Peter, I see more and more of him in my life because I, too, have, in the past, let Christ down,” he said. “I’m always forgiven because I stay in community as Peter did. Some people know me more as Peter than they do as Ken.”
Northwestern Michigan College student Harold Kranick has played Judas for the past five years and said that the part has been life changing for him as well.
“I have opened my eyes and realize how important our faith is to us,” said Kranick. “It makes me ponder, ‘Did Judas really know what he was doing?’ Or do we make him assure of himself that money was the reason why he betrayed Jesus?”
Joyce Odell brought the production to St. Patrick’s after she saw her mother direct the play at a church in Florida. Her mother had received the script from a friend in another state. The play’s author and origin are unknown.
Instead of holding auditions Odell asked parishioners who they thought should play each apostle. She then approached each man and talked to him further to get a sense of the role each should portray.
Brian Vos, who played an apostle for 11 years, is directing the performance this year with help from Curt Britten, who was one of the original apostles.
There is no cost to attend, but donations toward the church food pantry are welcome. St Patrick’s is located at 630 W Silver Lake Road S. For more information, contact the church at 943-4633.