Climbing the Steps

Family Good Friday tradition spans five generations

The James family says each of the 85 steps leading to Cincinnati's Holy Cross-Immaculata Church is a suitable place for prayer. About 35 members of the family from Suburban Green Township will carry out a decades-old Good Friday tradition tomorrow. They'll be among approximately Ten-thousand Cincinnatians climbing the steps, pausing to say a prayer at each stair. Forty-four-year-old Steve James says his family has been doing the climb for five generations. Family members will come from as far away as Tennessee to join the local Jameses. The tradition dates to 1861 when climbing the steps was the only direct route to the church for German-Catholic immigrants. Now, the line for the climb can be hours long.