World Youth Day Cross and Icon hosted by Notre Dame

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 26-5-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



On the 21 May, staff and students from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus participated in hosting the World Youth Day (WYD) Cross and Icon as part of the lead up to WYD to be held in Sydney, Australia from 15 – 20 July.

The WYD Cross was a gift from Pope John Paul II as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity. The Cross, standing at 3.8 metres high and weighing 40 kilograms, has been travelling around the world for the past 22 years, visiting many cities and towns in each country where young people have the opportunity to host and spend time in prayer with it. In 2003 as a second symbol of faith, the Icon of Our Lady, (Mary, carrying her Son) a contemporary copy of a sacred and ancient icon, joined the Cross on its journey.

It is anticipated that more than 500,000 people will attend WYD, said to be the largest single mobilisation of young people in the world. Each WYD is centered on a particular theme. This year’s theme, received from Pope Benedict XVI is: 'You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses.' Acts 1:8 Notre Dame student, Jacinta Elder, will be travelling to Sydney to attend WYD. "I am looking forward to the privilege and honour of being able to share in the wonderful journey that began 22 years ago. I believe that this event will be a wonderful opportunity to truly feel God's presence among us as we gather together to celebrate the true meaning of the Cross."

The Mayor of Fremantle, Mr Peter Tagliaferri, welcomed over 1500 staff and students from local Catholic primary and secondary schools as well as family, friends and local community members who had gathered in the Town Square to watch the handover of the Cross and Icon from students from Christian Brothers’ College (CBC) to students from Notre Dame.

University Chaplain, Fr Greg Watson said, “The visit of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon to Notre Dame’s Fremantle Campus, offers us an opportunity to approach our faith in new ways. It offers us an opportunity to ask old questions in new ways and to seek answers that speak to our students and staff in our day”.

After the handover the Notre Dame community proceeded down High Street, into Mouat Street finishing in the Student Common Room where the Cross and Icon were placed on display.

Media contact:

Rebecca Cassidy 08 9433 0611, 0408 959 138