Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
June 11, 2001
World Youth Day Cross slated to visit Alberta in November
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — Excitement is building in the Edmonton Archdiocese as the World Youth Day cross begins to move West. The well-travelled cross, now in Quebec, will enter Alberta in early November and will be in Edmonton Nov. 18 and 19.
That's the word from the World Youth Day committee of the Edmonton Archdiocese, which is organizing the Alberta portion of the cross' pilgrimage along with the youth commissions of all Alberta dioceses, including the Ukrainian Eparchy.
Each diocese will have the four-metre tall cross for about five days and organizers are calling on young people to seize this unique opportunity.
"We want young people to be a part of this as much as possible because World Youth Day is for young people and by young people," said Nicole Brown, archdiocesan coordinator of the cross pilgrimage.
Coming from Hay River, N.W.T, the cross will enter the Grouard-McLennan Archdiocese Nov. 5 and then will move to the St. Paul Diocese, which is currently looking at having a Remembrance Day celebration at the Cold Lake military base.
Organizers are not sure what day the cross will enter the Edmonton Archdiocese but they predict mid-November, probably via the Edson-Hinton area.
"We are taking it to as many rural areas as possible throughout the entire diocese," Brown said.
The cross will reach Edmonton Nov. 18 and will be welcomed with a large celebration at St. Joseph's Basilica. Cardinal Francis Stafford, head of the Pontifical Council of the Laity and World Youth Day coordinator, will preside at an evening celebration.
The next day the cross will be taken to a celebration with students and to several other places, including the University of Alberta, the inner city, some malls, maybe City Hall, shelters, hospitals and prisons.
"We'll be taking it anywhere that we think there is an area of need," Brown said.
There are also plans to have the cross for an all-night vigil either at one of the Ukrainian churches in the inner city or at Sacred Heart Church on Nov. 18 and for a similar vigil at St. Anthony's Church on the southside the following day. There are also plans to take the cross to a couple of First Nations reserves in the archdiocese.
The cross will go to Red Deer and area Nov. 23-24 and will move to Calgary on Nov. 25.
Planned activities in rural areas include youth retreats, processions, candlelight vigils and reconciliation services.
"You can do just about everything with the cross," Brown said. "We are asking each community (where the cross will visit) to set its own celebration so that their celebration meets the needs of their community."
Several young volunteers will travel with the cross as it moves from community to community. Organizers are currently looking for a vehicle, possibly a van, to transport the cross throughout Alberta.
The cross will travel to every region of Canada in a bid to encourage involvement of young people in the Catholic Church.
At the end of its Canadian travels, the cross will be taken to Toronto, the city selected by Pope John Paul for World Youth Day in July 2002.
The local WYD committee is already mailing registration packages for the event to all parishes in the diocese. Some parishes are already committed to sending up to 100 youth.
The WYD committee is offering parishes a tour package for $1,250 that includes transportation, simple accommodation, passes to all the venues in Toronto and two meals a day. More than 1,000 people from the diocese are expected to attend World Youth Day.
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