WYD Cross to visit tsunami-hit Gizo

In a poignant reminder of its significance, the World Youth Day Cross is due to journey to the tsunami-struck Solomon Islands diocese of Gizo next week - and organisers say they are determined that the visit to the grief-stricken community will go ahead.

The Gizo diocese is due to receive the World Youth Day Cross and Icon of Our Lady next Thursday as part of the holy symbols' journey to Sydney for next year's World Youth Day (WYD08), the Westender reports.

WYD08 organisers in Sydney say they are saddened that at least 25 people have been killed and thousands left homeless by the earthquake and tsunami.

The Bishop of Gizo, Dominican Bernard O'Grady - one of the co-consecrators of WYD08 Coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher - visited the World Youth Day offices in Sydney only last week.

Bishop Fisher said he hoped the Cross and Icon would still be able to visit the grief-stricken community of Gizo - for whom the suffering on the cross and the hope of the resurrection would now have a new meaning.

"It is still our intention that the WYD Cross and Icon make it to Gizo," Bishop Fisher said.

"Our Catholic Education Office here in Sydney has a special relationship with Gizo diocese as does the Dominican Order to which I belong.

"We had already decided to provide special assistance so that the Cross and Icon could travel to Gizo and now that this tragedy has occurred we are more determined than ever.

"The Cross and Icon have travelled to every inhabited continent, carrying the Catholic Church's message of reconciliation and hope to places in need of hope - most recently through Africa and now through Asia and the Pacific," Bishop Anthony said.

"The Cross is a symbol of Christ's solidarity with all those who suffer.

"In this Holy Week and particularly at this tragic time in Gizo, the World Youth Day Cross and Icon are special signs of Australia's prayerful support for the people of the Solomon Islands."

The Bishop asked young Australians to join him in prayer for the people of the Solomon Islands and to contribute to the Caritas tsunami appeal.

World Youth Day symbols due to visit tsunami-hit Gizo in the Solomon Islands (Westender, 4/4/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas Australia
World Youth Day 2008
Honiara archdiocese
Solomon Islands Government - Prime Minister & Cabinet

Solomons tsunami response under way (CathNews, 3/4/07)
WYD Cross at N Korea border (CathNews, 1/3/07)
Caritas funds election booklet to support Solomons democracy (CathNews, 15/2/06)

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