On Easter Sunday, 1984, Pope John Paul II presented a simple wooden cross to the young people of the world. Since that day, thousands of young people around the world have heeded the challenge of John Paul and have carried the cross around the globe. Much like the Olympic Torch, the cross is present at World Youth Day gatherings and then passed on to the next country hosting such events.
A replica of this cross was built by members of the Diocesan Youth Leadership team, including our own Kaitlin Brown and Alec Calvetti. It was first presented at a high school youth ministry gathering nearly 2 years ago and has been present in numerous Diocesan parishes and Catholic schools and was carried through the streets of Wilmington this past April (Palm Saturday) during the Diocesan Pilgrimage. During the Pilgrimage, over 400 diocesan youth, including a few from St. John’s/Holy Angels, carried the Cross throughout the streets of Wilmington, processing from St. Ann’s (Prayer Service) to St. Anthony’s (music, prayer, and lunch) to St. Paul’s (Adoration) to St. Elizabeth’s (Closing Mass, Dinner & Concert), sharing community, song, prayer, and fellowship.
Our parish recently hosted this Pilgrimage Cross and on September 10, 2010, the Cross was both present and presented at our opening school mass and that same weekend at masses at Holy Angels. We have since handed the Cross off to St. Ann’s the cross will continue to make its way around the diocese in anticipation of the next youth pilgrimage on Saturday, March 31, 2012. May this cross be carried throughout our diocese as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity and as a challenge to us all to stand firm in our conviction, steadfast in our faith, and rooted in the love of Jesus Christ.