Notre Dame Students Head to Rome for World Youth Day Cross

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 9-5-2006

Publisher Name

University of Notre Dame, Fremantle

Publication Place



Three Notre Dame students have recently returned from a interesting trip to Rome which involved receiving the World Youth Day Cross from the Pope. World Youth Day (WYD) is celebrated in local churches and in Rome every year on Palm Sunday, and every three years at an international venue. Sydney has been chosen as the host city for 2008 therefore the students were part of an official delegation of Catholic youth, with one representative from every diocese in Australia, responsible for bringing the Cross to Australia.

Caroline Watson and Vicky Burrows were chosen to be part of the group for their work with the Catholic Youth Ministry and a Christian student group. They participated in the Vatican’s Palm Sunday Mass, receiving Communion from the Pope, as well as the official handing over of the Cross and a pilgrimage to the many religious sites in Rome.

Vicky said she wanted to be part of World Youth Day because she feels it is important that society and the Church do not underestimate the faith and action of young people in Australia and around the world. “I want all young people to discover their dignity and mission in their everyday lives. Young people are the future, therefore it is important that we put time and energy into their formation and development.

World Youth Day was started by the Late Pope John Paul II in 1986 after noticing an overwhelming response by youth to participate in two events - The International Jubilee of Youth and the UN’s International Youth Year. The Pope saw a need for the young to be reminded of their responsibility for the world and the Church.

According to Caroline there are various aims of World Youth Day: “There is the aim that young people will experience the universality of our Church. That young people will encounter Jesus through the WYD program and through their interactions with each other. That the youth of the Church will take responsibility for the future of the Church, and share with other young people the encounters that have led them back to and into the faith.”

As for the WYD Cross, it will travel around Australia in 2007 visiting every diocese in the country. “ It is hoped that as many young Australians as possible will encounter the cross on its journey. I hope that this will include all Notre Dame students. WYD 2008 will be one of the most significant Catholic events to ever to be held in Australia. With an estimated 500 000 Australian pilgrims and 130 000 international pilgrims set to hit Sydney I can't wait to be part of that crowd,” said Caroline

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