Young New Zealanders gather In Christchurch to celebrate WYD

Students from St Bede’s College carried a four metre cross down Barbadoes St last Friday afternoon.

They were taking part weekend-long event to mark World Youth Day 2016 (WYD).

170 students from across the South Island attended the event.  Organiser Abina Pope said WYD was “an opportunity for students of the same age to come together, share ideas and listen to various members of religious organisations”.

Activities included volunteer work at the City Mission, a barbecue on Saturday night and a disco held at the Catholic Cathedral College.

On Sunday students walked an inter-faith pilgrimage through Christchurch, visiting religious locations across the city including the Transitional Cathedral on Hereford St.

The cross was place inside the perimeter of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament site “to assure the people of Canterbury we are strong in our faith and we will rebuild.”

The organisers of the local event wanted to depict the pilgrimage of the symbols of WYD,  The Holy Year Cross, and the icon of Our Lady Salus Populi Romani, through Europe.

The WYD symbols were handed over by the Brazilian youth to the youth of Poland in Rome on Palm Sunday 2014.

After visiting five Polish dioceses (of Poznan, Kalisz, Wloclawek, Warsaw-Praga and Siedlce), the cross and the icon set out on a journey through Central and East European countries.

They were in Belorus, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The symbols returned to Poland on December 14, 2014, and travelled several thousand kilometres around country.

On July 25,  the Cross and the Icon were placed in the Adoration Tent on the grounds of the Jordana Park in Krakow, from where they were  driven to the places of celebrations with Pope Francis.


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