Tsunami town welcomes WYD cross

Fourteen days after a major earthquake and tsunami ravaged the western Solomons diocese of Gizo, the World Youth Day cross and icon has arrived in the hard hit region.

The Catholic Leader reports that the touring World Youth Day Cross and Icon of Our Lady lifted people's spirits when they spent 24 hours in the diocese of Gizo.

The cross and the icon were flown from the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, to the local airstrip at Nusatupe on 16 April.

Due to rough weather conditions they could not be unpacked and assembled until reaching the shores of Gizo.

Hundreds of people had gathered at the only intact wharf and there was more excitement and happiness than there has been for a fortnight.

Despite the smiles, a sombre mood still affected the people.

At least 52 were dead, many were still missing and thousands have been left homeless by the quake and tsunami.

Pan pipers from St Dominic's Rural Training Centre in Vanga led the parade from the wharf to the front of the badly damaged cathedral where Bishop Bernard O'Grady of Gizo greeted the holy symbols.

Although the tower and front of the cathedral have been severely damaged, the glass cross in the tower escaped destruction.

The World Youth Day Cross was slowly raised in front of it to link the two crosses, signifying a rising up from the pain and the destruction that has been a tangible part of the lives of the people.

After Mass, the cross was taken in procession down Gizo's main street to the market place and back to the cathedral.


SOURCE
Gizo greets cross after tsunami (Catholic Leader, 18/4/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Gizo (Wikipedia)
World Youth Day 2008
Bishop Bernard O'Grady (Catholic Hierarchy)

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19 Apr 2007

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