Monday, 14 July 2008

Arrival of the WYD Cross

The World Youth Day Cross officially arrives in Sydney! Piccies from the Daily Telegraph:

The Australian reports that the WYD Cross has officially arrived in Sydney:

"Matthew Clayfield July 14, 2008

A CRUCIFIX - the World Youth Day equivalent of the Olympic torch - has received a rapturous welcome upon its arrival in Sydney.The 3.8m cross, which is on the last leg of a 12-month pilgrimage around the country, was met by hundreds of cheering pilgrims as it pulled into Circular Quay on the Manly ferry this morning. Accompanied by an icon of the Virgin Mary, the cross was carried up Pitt Street to Belmore Park, the pilgrims singing as they walked.

Traditional hymns mixed with islander chants, American rapping and a cheer more common at sporting events: "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, oi, oi!"

Seminarian Greg Morgan, 21, the Sydney diocese's youngest trainee priest, said he was amazed by the number of pilgrims who had shown up to welcome the cross. "This is a sign of the week to come," he said. "It's a wonderful time to be alive."

Rolling road closures were in place in central Sydney today for the procession. Dozens of office workers came out into the streets to see about a thousand pilgrims dancing and singing through central Sydney. “For us, the cross is a message from Christ,” Italian pilgrim Paola Verde said. “It's a message of hope and love.” A contingent of Polish Catholics chanted “Bongo Polska”. “The Polish spirit comes through a thousand years of Catholicism and enormous loss of life through many wars and periods of oppression,” pilgrim Edward Debrovski said. The spirit of Polish Catholics had been strengthened since the reign of the Polish Pope John Paul II, he said.

American pilgrim Anna Samuels accompanied the cross and icon across Sydney Harbour on the ferry Narrabeen and said the excitement was overwhelming as it sailed into Circular Quay. “Now is just the beginning,” she said. “It was just so wonderful having everyone singing as one as we came into Sydney.” Sydney store worker James McInerney said he was enjoying the show but was not tempted to join in the procession. “It's something you don't see every day, I'm just sitting back trying to see what it's all about,” Mr McInerney said. “There's a lot of smiles, a lot of happy people around, which has got to be good, you don't often see that in the city on a Monday morning.”

Ten-year-old pilgrim Paolini Pazdzior said the arrival of the cross was a special moment in her life. “It's amazing to have it here, to feel the power,” she said."

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