Young Catholics bring London to a standstill irst posted 12 January 2004

 LONDON -first posted 12 January 2004 - 396 words

Hundreds of young people brought traffic in London to a standstill over the weekend as they processed the World Youth Day Cross from Southwark Cathedral, via Westminster Abbey, to Westminster Cathedral.

3,000 people came to see and touch the Cross as its pilgrimage took it to London. People of all ages came to witness the Cross as it goes on pilgrimage around England and Wales for the first time since it started its pilgrimage around the world nearly 20 years ago.

Bishop Howard Tripp, who attended the service at Southwark said: "It was a great joy to witness the Cross and all the young people who came to meet the Cross."

The World Youth Day Cross and Icon arrived on Thursday 8 January and within the first four days it had been seen by 7,500 people.

Helen Bardy, Director of Catholic Youth Services said of the pilgrimage: "I have been overwhelmed by how moving and joyous the liturgies and celebrations have been." She went on to say: "The young people, through the pilgrimage of the Cross are giving truly extraordinary witness of their faith."

For the thousands who have seen the Cross, it has proved to be an incredible experience. Maria Klos, who joined the pilgrimage through London said: "It was wonderful to see so many young people bearing witness to their faith. That Christ's example and the message of the Cross literally brought London traffic to a standstill was incredibly inspiring."

The London event brought the Cross from the diocese of Arundel and Brighton, to Southwark and Westminster, before being handed over to the young people of Brentwood. The Cross will pilgrimage through England and Wales until 27 January. In that time it will visit all 22 dioceses, bringing the Cross to all.

John Toryusen, Director of Southwark Catholic Youth Services, who worked on organising the London leg of the pilgrimage said: "The hard work has paid off, it was a great day. Lots of people have been involved, many volunteers, young people and organisations who do not normally work together. The Cross is a rallying point that has enabled this to happen." He went on to say: "The Cross is a symbol we see daily, but today has renewed us in the significance of the Cross as the image of our faith and of the love of Christ."

Source: CCS

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