An Olympic Cross, hospitality centres for athletes and round-the-clock adoration of the Blessed Sacrament are featuring in the Catholic pastoral programme for the London Olympic Games.
The cross will stand at the Joshua Camp, an international Catholic Olympic gathering in East London, until August 13.
The camp provides hospitality and creates a Catholic presence to foster spiritual growth and evangelisation. Organisers have described it as “Olympic World Youth Day”.
The Olympic Cross was specially commissioned for the Games. Artist Jon Cornwall used 12 different types of wood from around the world to represent the 12 disciples.
“We wanted to create a keepsake that symbolises everything the Games truly represent, something we could then pass on to future Olympic host nations,” explained James Parker, Catholic executive co-ordinator for the Games.
“As Christians our lives mean nothing without the cross and so this seemed to be the most suitable object to commission for ourselves and as a future gift to others.”
After the Games, the Olympic Cross could head to Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games or it could head to Brazil for the 2013 World Youth Day, the 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Twenty-four hour exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is being held in St Francis of Assisi’s Church, at Stratford in east London, throughout the Games.
A special Mass for the 30th Olympiad was held in London’s Westminster Cathedral.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster reminded attending Olympians that their bodies “are temples of the Holy Spirit”.
“This does not detract from that physical achievement of sport, with its beauty, symmetry, harnessing of speed, finesse and power,” he said. “Rather it enhances those achievements and gives them their deepest purpose — that of giving glory to their Maker.”
News category: World.